Sen. Joni Ernst Iowa

Sen. Joni Ernst Iowa


Social Justice and Equality in America.

“I don’t know the science behind climate change. I can’t say one way or another what is the direct impact, whether it’s man-made or not. I’ve heard arguments from both sides.”


  • Average annual statewide precipitation increased by 8% from 1873 to 2008. As rain and temperature patterns change, so can vector-born disease patterns like the West Nile Virus, which is transmitted by mosquitoes.


  • In Iowa, there were more than 2,000 hospital admissions for asthma in 2011, with an average charge of more than $12,100 for each stay.


  • Between 2010 and 2012, the total cost due to hazardous weather in Iowa was $4.34 billion, mainly due to crop damage. Over the past 10 years, 15 billion-dollar weather disasters affected Iowa.


  • Midwesterners will experience increased frequency and intensity of extreme weather events due to climate change, including heat waves, floods, and lake-effect snow. In 2011, 11 of the 14 U.S. weather-related disasters with damages of more than $1 billion occurred in the Midwest. While severe flooding is already an issue in the region—in 2008, floods caused 24 deaths and $8 billion in agricultural losses—likely increases in precipitation in winter and spring and more heavy downpours mean it is expected to become more commonplace. Greater evaporation in the summer is also likely to result in water deficits. Longer and more extreme heat waves will impact human health through reduced air quality and increases in insect and waterborne diseases, and require increased use of electricity for cooling, further increasing carbon pollution. While the longer growing season provides the potential for increased crop yields, increases in heat waves, floods, droughts, insects, and weeds will present growing challenges to managing crops, livestock, and forests.

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Social Justice and Equality in America

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