A coalition of Iowa environmental and religious groups has sent a letter to President Obama, asking him to convene a national summit on climate change. Senator Rob Hogg, a Democrat from Cedar Rapids, is part of a group called “Iowa Climate Advocates.”
“There is growing national interest in finally trying to do something about climate change,” Hogg says. “It’s a reality. It’s happening. It’s a danger to our future and we really need (Obama’s) leadership to get us on a course of action that will deal effectively with it.”
In the letter, the Iowans say it’s clear that “climate-related disasters are upon us.” Hogg cites the 2012 drought as an example.
“Lots of people were increasingly concerned about climate change because of that — lots of people — and then Hurricane Sandy hit and brought unprecedented storm surges through New York City which has a very long record for weather events and it was three to four feet higher than anything we’d seen before,” Hogg says. “If Hurricane Sandy doesn’t get us to act, what are we waiting for?”
Critics say human activity plays an insignificant role in climate change. Hogg acknowledges the issue has become “political,” but Hogg says the science indicating human activity is accelerating climate change is “valid” and “cannot be denied.”
“Americans can have a disagreement, but at some point when we recognize that this is the serious threat to our future that it is, we will unite and we will take effective to deal with it,” Hogg says. “…That’s what I think a summit would help us address.”
Nuns from four different Roman Catholic Religious Orders based in Clinton, Dubuque and Davenport co-signed the letter with Senator Hogg. The executive director of the Iowa Interfaith Power and Light organization and a representative of 1000 Friends of Iowa signed on to the letter as well.