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Letter to the editor: Support pro-solar candidates in Johnson County


Iowa City Student Climate Strike rally, Friday, Oct. 4, 2019. — Zak Neumann/Little Village

By Ariel Godwin, Iowa City

Summer has barely begun, and Iowa City has already had multiple days with highs above 90 degrees. We can expect more days like these — along with floods, droughts, and frequent heavy rainstorms — if we don’t wake up to the dangers of climate change and find a solution.

One of the best ways to alleviate the impact of greenhouse gases on our climate is to switch to solar energy. Solar energy is a source of clean, affordable electricity that benefits everyone. Through increasing access to energy, solar is also a powerful tool in combating poverty. It is quite literally empowering to urban and rural homeowners alike.

Solar energy does not produce hazardous byproducts, and the cost of implementation has steadily fallen. Project Drawdown, a nonprofit focused on climate solutions, estimates that implementing distributed solar power could actually save the U.S. as much as $13.5 trillion — not to mention 27-69 gigatons in greenhouse gas emissions.

Those are big numbers, but change starts small — and local. Here in Johnson County, the two Democratic candidates for the Board of Supervisors have already pledged their support for investing in and expanding the use of clean energy.

Jon Green has stated that the climate crisis requires government action, and promises to support utility-scale projects such as the Solar Triangle, as well as continue reduced-cost residential solar programs such as Solarize Johnson County.

V Fixmer-Oraiz shares similar sentiments, stating via their site that they “will work toward creating a COVID-19 Recovery Plan that is focused on re-imagining and rebuilding a greener, safer, and more equitable county.”

The candidates’ pledge to focus on green solutions such as solar power is why I’m casting my vote for them this November. When I look towards our future, where climate change is inevitable but not insurmountable, I want solar energy to be a part of it. As residents of Johnson County, we should all demand the same.


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