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Climate report

DAVID VOIGTS

JESUP — According to the recently released National Climate Assessment, by 2050 Midwest farmers could see productivity decreased by 25 percent from the effects of climate change if nothing is done.

One cause will be increased rainfall and more heavy rainfall events coupled with flash droughts in the summertime. These trends already have started.

Also, yield-reducing heat waves are likely to get hotter. Currently a five-day heat wave in central Iowa averages 90 to 95 degrees in five out of every 10 years.

By 2050, the average five-day heat wave is expected to climb 7 degrees, and once every 10 years, it will spike 13 degrees to as high as 108 degrees.

Farmers have the ability to not only help themselves but also to reduce warming temperatures for everyone by employing agroecology practices such as cover crops, crop rotation, composting and multispecies grazing to increase soil organic carbon stocks. Healthy soils should result in farms that are both resilient to the effects of climate change and have the potential of capturing 40 percent of the total annual carbon emissions.

Farmers will be an important part of the climate equation.

Socializing cities

AL CHARLSON

WAVERLY — I get a chuckle out of the agonized shrieks of socialism emanating from the airwaves.

This past month I’ve been glad my community decided to socialize the street past my home.

Getting out there early each morning in 25-below wind chills to clear the snow from my section of private street would not be fun.

And manning a toll booth to collect tolls from my neighbors for maintenance and future reconstruction would not be a good experience for either me or them. Come to think about it, I am also grateful for the community schools that provided educational opportunities for me, my wife and our children; the State Patrol and local law enforcement officers that protect our safety, and a whole team of public servants who make Waverly and Iowa a better place to live.

From our earliest days as a nation and a state we have joined together to provide needed infrastructure and services.

We will need to continue to debate which services we should socialize, how to deliver those services most effectively and how to pay for them. But let’s leave our bumper stickers on the bumper.

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