As Climate Change Threatens Midwest’s Cultural Identity, Cities Test Ways to Adapt

By Dan Gearino, Inside Climate News
Part of the Midwest newsroom collaborative project Unfamiliar Ground. 

Think of a Minnesota with almost no ice fishing. A Missouri that is as hot and dry as Texas. River and lake communities where catastrophic flooding happens almost every year, rather than every few generations. This, scientists warn, is the future of the Midwest if emissions continue at a high rate, and it threatens the very core of the region’s identity. With extreme heat waves and flooding increasingly making that future feel more real, city leaders have started looking for ways to adapt.

In “Unfamiliar Ground,” a joint project organized by InsideClimate News, reporters across the Midwest are exploring what communities are doing to respond to climate change, with stories from IllinoisIndianaMichigan and Missouri, and this one from Minnesota. Read more here. 

Learn more about the National Environment Reporting Network and read the network’s spring project: Middle America’s Low-Hanging Carbon: The Search for Greenhouse Gas Cuts from the Grid, Agriculture and Transportation

Additional Recommended Reading & Viewing 

  • The Intergenerational Ethics of Climate Change, by Steve Cohen, Earth Institute, Columbia University. The power of fossil fuel interests stems from their investment in current and past energy infrastructure. The power of the climate strikers is based on their ethical and literal claim to the future. Many of us who will not live to see that climate future share our children’s worries about it just the same. Even if the ethical issues are not as crisp and clear as some climate activists like to think they are, they still have power and currency. And we owe the young climate activists our attention and support.
  • Creighton students vote in favor of divesting university funds from fossil fuel industry, Omaha World-Herald
  • YouTube Video: Creighton University’s Divestment / Reinvestment Referendum
    We as students of Creighton University are calling upon our administration and board of directors to uphold our Jesuit values by divesting (and reinvesting) the over $60 million we have invested in direct extraction fossil fuel companies. The moral argument for this action is clear. Anyone who accepts climate science can see the importance of creating incentives for the market to transition to renewable energy by socially conscious investing. At Creighton, we are shielded from the most catastrophic effects of climate change on the poor and vulnerable of our world, and we have a moral obligation to be their partner in this global fight.
  • Doane university divests from fossil fuels, KLKN TV
    Doane University students and staff are working together to get the university to divest from the fossil fuel industry by 2030.
  • Opinion: Renewable electricity is the solution to the climate crisis, by Zach Renshaw, Chair of Doane University’s Climate Reality Campus Corps, The Doane Line. This post includes Climate Reality resources.
  • Go Fossil Free.Org: See a searchable database of universities and other groups that have divested.
  • Youth are calling for immediate climate action, and majority of Americans agree, The Guardian/GreenBiz. This story is part of Covering Climate Now, a global collaboration of more than 323 news outlets to strengthen coverage of the climate story. Two-thirds of Americans believe climate change is either a crisis or a serious problem, with a majority wanting immediate action to address global heating and its damaging consequences, major new polling has found. “Americans are finally beginning waking up to the existential threat that the climate emergency poses to our society,” said Margaret Klein Salamon, a clinical psychologist and founder of the Climate Mobilization Project. “This is huge progress for our movement — and it’s young people that have been primarily responsible for that.”
  • Once a critic, Chamber of Commerce now backs Paris Climate Agreement, Axios

Upcoming Event

Nebraska Sierra Club Presentation: 24 Hours of Reality: Truth in Action – The Great Plains, November 21, 2019 at 7 pm, First United Methodist Church 

On November 21, Climate Reality is presenting 24 Hours of Reality: Truth in Action, a global conversation on the truth of the climate crisis and how we solve it. For one full 24-hour period, Climate Reality Leader volunteers trained by former Vice President Al Gore are holding public presentations and conversations on our changing climate.

Nebraska Sierra Club’s Presenter: Dr. David Corbin, Chair of the Nebraska Chapter Sierra Club

For each person who attends the event and fills out a form at the presentation, Nebraska Sierra Club will plant one tree on their behalf.

More Info? Contact David Corbin: dcorbin@cox.net / (402) 690-9134