On the Radio: Master River Steward Program

Cedar River – Photo by tiswango; Flickr

This week’s On the Radio segment covers a portion of the Master River Steward Program’s ongoing work with rivers and communities. Listen to the audio below, or continue reading for the transcript.

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On the Radio: Iowa Flood Mitigation Board Funding

Photo by w4nd3rl0st (InspiredinDesMoines); Flickr

This week’s On the Radio segment covers a new plan by the Iowa government that will assist financially with flood recovery. Continue reading for the transcript, or listen to the audio below.

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On the Radio: Decorah – Striding toward sustainability

Photo by marina, Flickr

Listen to this week’s radio segment here.  It features our latest sustainable community – Decorah.

Just south of the Minnesota border, a small Iowa town is leaping toward sustainability.

This is the Iowa Environmental Focus on sustainable communities.

Iowans know Decorah as home to Luther College and as a center for Norwegian-American culture. But perhaps we should add another item to its list of distinguishing traits – greenness. Continue reading

On the Radio: Solar industry could boost Iowa’s economy

Photo by Living Off Grid, Flickr

Listen to this week’s radio segment here.  It features the work of Iowa State University economist David SwensonHis research found that gains in the solar industry could potentially hold benefits for Iowa’s economy.

How can we build our economy while keep Iowa cleaner? By looking to the sun. Continue reading

Hogg advocates for sustainability

State Senator Hogg

State Senator Rob Hogg, D-Cedar Rapids wrote an editorial for the Des Moines Register last week discussing the need for flood preparation and a more environmentally-friendly lifestyle. 

Check out what he had to say here:

As the floodwaters roll down the Mississippi River, and as Joplin, Mo., copes with a tragic tornado, it is now apparent that we have entered a new era of human history — an era of climate disasters, where human fingerprints are found on disasters previously called “natural.”

Iowa has recently experienced devastating floods like what we are seeing nightly on the news. In 2008, it was not just in Cedar Rapids, but throughout Iowa. In 2010, it happened again, from Cherokee to Colfax, Ames to Ottumwa, the Four Mile Creek neighborhood in Des Moines to Lake Delhi.

We might feel sympathy and even some responsibility as the Mississippi floods our neighbors downriver. But feelings are not enough. In this new era of climate disasters, we need to act – to reduce emissions, to prevent future disasters, and to help victims.

For years, leading scientists have warned that climate change will result in more extreme weather events. In 2007, the U.S. Government Accountability Office reported that “rising temperatures are expected to increase the frequency and severity of damaging weather-related events, such as flooding or drought.”

Extreme weather events are occurring more often because global warming does not mean slightly warmer temperatures every day everywhere. Rather, it means changes in weather patterns and precipitation patterns. That’s why scientists call it climate change. Continue reading

On the Radio: UI students help Iowa communities go green

Listen to this week’s radio segment here.  It features the work of some UI students in Burlington, Charles City, Decorah and Oskaloosa.

For the past two school years, second-year students at the UI School of Urban and Regional Planning have helped Iowa towns plan for a cleaner, healthier future. Continue reading

Study finds flame retardants in baby products

Photo by Kitt Walker, Flickr

Environmental Science & Technology recently published a study that found flame retardants in four out of five baby products, including nursing pillows, changing pads and car seats.

The academic journal, edited by University of Iowa Professor and CGRER co-founder Jerald Schnoor, did not identify the products tested by brand.  However, researchers tested 101 widely-used items and found that 80% of them contained flammable material. Continue reading