For Iowa brewers, water quality is ‘a really big deal’

According to Iowa brewers, a beer is only as good as the water used to make it. Inside West O Beer’s taproom in West Okoboji is a poster that proudly states, “To us, the water is a really big deal.” West O owner Matthew Matthiesen said the poster has been there since the taproom opened, emphasizing how important clean water is to […]

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Letter to the editor: Protecting the environment and the economy is not a zero-sum game

Florida’s global warming climate-catastrophe hurricane dominates the news, momentarily eclipsing even the presumptive leader who calls this situation a hoax. Too many liars have access to public attention, voicing the dangerous and defeatist idea that there is a “cost” to defending the earth’s […]

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Family Dinner: Brenda Nations and Art Bettis discuss food justice over food

The good news concerns zucchini: There’s plenty of it. Arguably too much of it, although environmentalists Brenda Nations and Art Bettis (armed with an abundant CSA share and a very tasty summer squash galette recipe torn from the pages of a Better Homes and Gardens) do not seem to mind. The bad news is the […]

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UR Here: Like a wolf in the wild — and Aldo Leopold — commit to your pursuit

Aldo Leopold is arguably the greatest conservationist of the 20th century. His formative experiences with the natural world occurred right here in Iowa, providing the foundation for the revolutionary thought and influence that would mark his career. […]

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Al Gore endorses Patty Judge

Patty Judge

In an email sent yesterday to Patty Judge supporters, former U.S. Vice President Al Gore made a formal endorsement for Judge, the democratic challenger to Chuck Grassley’s senate seat. Gore, like Judge, is an ardent environmentalist. “Patty Judge firmly believes that protecting our environment and natural resources for future generations must be a priority,” Gore […]

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The Paris Agreement marks an unprecedented opportunity to quell the tide of climate change, and Iowans have a role to play

Power Plant, Climate Change

In the wake of the recently released World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Statement on the Status of Global Climate 2015 report, which warns that the world is warming faster than predicted, the Paris Agreement on climate change (the “Agreement”) — negotiated at the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework […]

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Film screenings launch Regenerative Landscapes initiative

Inhabit screenings Sunday, Jan. 17 at 1:30 p.m. Prairiewoods Franciscan Spirituality Center, 120 E. Boyson Rd. in Hiawatha Sunday, Jan. 24 at 1:30 pm Shambaugh Auditorium, University of Iowa Main Library Several Iowa organizations are partnering to host film screenings in Hiawatha (Jan. 17) and Iowa City (Jan. 24) to raise awareness around environmental issues. […]

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On climate change: Jane Smiley writes a dystopian ‘letter to the future’


Scientists have warned for decades that greenhouse gas emissions have put the Earth on track for calamitous storms, floods, droughts and rising oceans. But the world’s governments have yet to sign a legally binding agreement to do what it takes to avert climate disaster. The UN Climate Change Conference in Paris in December 2015 could […]

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Bringing the Mediterranean’s Migration Stories to the Stage

Jeff Biggers reading Prairie Lights — Tuesday, Nov. 17 at 7 p.m. Jeff Biggers is the Writer-in-Residence in the University of Iowa Office of Sustainability, where he founded the Climate Narrative Project. Biggers, an American Book Award–winning author of several works of history and memoir, including State Out of the Union: Arizona and the Showdown […]

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NextGen urges students to quiz candidates about climate change

Zack Davis, the State Director of NextGen Climate, toured college campuses in Sioux City, Ames, Cedar Falls and Iowa City last week to push his group’s message into the forefront of the Iowa caucuses. Davis spoke with fellow students about transitioning to a 50 percent clean energy energy production goal by 2030, encouraging them to […]

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Chauncey tower question splits council candidate forum

Less than fifteen minutes into last night’s city council candidate forum on environmental issues, moderator Tom Carsner split the field with a question about the direction of the tax-increment-financed (TIF) development known as the Chauncey Tower. Sitting councilors Rick Dobyns and Jim Throgmorton went back and forth on the project after Carsner asked the field, […]

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Iowa City-area landowner raises concerns over local mine’s impact

Photo by Adam Burke

I meet Loren Southwick at the Ryerson’s Woods parking lot. We shake hands, and I hop into a black pickup. Southwick, a retired contractor and engineer who currently lives in Missouri, owns four properties about a mile away, just south of Iowa City limits on the Camino Del Rio, a secluded road that traces the Iowa […]

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