The group appointed by the governor to develop policy recommendations to help lower Iowa’s greenhouse gas emissions hard from two Bishops during a public input session on the issue. Reverend Philip Hougen told the Iowa Climate Change Advisory Council (ICCAC) that the things that happen in Iowa impact the rest of the world.
Hougen says he’s seen it personally and people he knows in other parts of the world, particularly in the east African country of Tanzania, "do suffer from emissions that come from industries in our part of the world." Hougen says,"Lifestyles that are changed here are changed throughout the world, based on the decisions made here in Iowa."
Hougen, recently retired as Bishop of the Southeastern Iowa Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America. He says all Iowans can make a difference in the state and the world. Hougen says we can all be concerned of our "individual carbon footprint" from churches to our individual homes. Hougen says improving our homes and churches is only one step Iowans can take to help protest the planet.
"We can support policies on the state and federal level which will make us all more responsible in terms of our use of the earth’s resources and make us better citizens of the global communities of which we’re a part," Hougen says.
Hougen says the group Iowa Interfaith Power and Light is already working with churches and worshipers to make a difference. He says they start with workshops in various denominations to teach them how they can each make a difference with the decisions they make in their homes and churches. Haug was joined by Right Reverend Alan Scarfe, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Iowa, who also talked to the council.
The Iowa Climate Change Advisory Council is charged with finding recommendations to lower Iowa’s greenhouse gas emissions by 50 to 90% from 2005 levels by the year 2050. The council will also take comments Thursday beginning at 11 A.M.