Senate candidate talks climate change at Iowa State

Al Wanamaker, associate professor in the geological and atmospheric sciences department speaks to a group of students on climate change. Wanamaker and State Senator Rob Hogg spoke about taking action Nov. 11.

Madison Tuttle

U.S. Senate candidate Rob Hogg, D-Cedar Rapids, was joined by an ISU professor and climate change activists at his stop in Ames on Wednesday, a part of his statewide “climate solutions” tour.

Hogg believes that climate change is the “defining challenge of our century.” He said that the science is unequivocal; the current climate situation will get worse if we don’t take action.

Hogg said that we have all kinds of solutions, and that we need to start building public will to take action on climate change.

Alan Wanamaker, an Iowa State associate professor of geological and atmospheric sciences, also spoke at the event. He believes that “the writing is on the wall” when it comes to proof that climate change is a very real and important issue.

The climate is changing “both naturally and from human behavior,” Wanamaker said.

He said that with a great deal of data it is clear that we are altering lots of cycles through our carbon emissions. He also noted the loss of biodiversity in our oceans and coral reefs due to climate change.

Hogg made a call for congressional leaders to act and support international agreements for climate change and renew or continue to fund clean energy and EPA emission standard legislation.

Hogg said he became interested in climate change after taking an Introduction to Global Studies class his sophomore year of college. He believes climate change is an “urgent issue,” and he cited natural disasters such as the flood of 2008 in Cedar Rapids as indicators that the warming of the atmosphere is causing the increase of more damaging storms over the past few decades.

“It’s important to be informed about the realities of climate change,” said Lucy Holms, freshman in communication studies.

Holms said she believes that the current state of our climate is troubling but she believes that we have time to make it better for future generations.

Joseph Heegaard, a field organizer for the Climate Reality Project at Iowa State, said that he believes our generation has a “moral obligation” to give back to our world. He said that now more than ever it is crucial to discuss these issues because millennials can turn the tide of climate change.

Hogg will also be speaking in Cedar Rapids, Pella, Coon Rapids, Carroll, Decorah, Charles City and Des Moines as part of his senate campaign against the current democratic Iowa Senator, Chuck Grassley.

There will also be a clean energy panel hosted by the Climate Reality Group on Nov. 13 in Ross Hall, room 120.