Press-Citizen 12/3/15

GROUP DEMONSTRATES FOR CLIMATE CHANGE AWARENESS   page 3A

100 Grannies for a Livable Future work to keep environmental issues in the public eye

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Miriam Kashia of the advocacy group 100 Grannies for a Livable Future demonstrates for climate change awareness on Riverside Drive in Iowa City on Wednesday morning.

STEPHEN GRUBER-MILLER

A group of Iowa women worked to keep climate change in the public eye on Wednesday — by standing in the snow.

About eight women from the advocacy group 100 Grannies for a Livable Future gathered on the pedestrian bridge at the intersection of Riverside Drive and Burlington Street early Wednesday morning with signs and banners that read “Climate Justice” and “Clean Energy Now.”

Their demonstration is connected to the ongoing COP21 global climate summit in Paris where world leaders are meeting to try to stave off the effects of climate change.

Miriam Kashia, one of the demonstrators, said the group’s goal was to make sure Iowans are thinking about those negotiations and about climate change generally. “We just want the public to be aware of that and to know how urgent our crisis is,” she said. Although they were standing in the midst of falling snow in belowfreezing temperatures, the group said they were encouraged by the honks, waves and thumbs-up signs they received from passers-by.

Becky Hall called the climate talks a “pivotal moment.”

“I think right now they’vegottocomeupwith some good plans,” she said of the Paris negotiators, adding that while any solutions reached by leaders would not be perfect, they would be better than doing nothing.

The group 100 Grannies has been demonstrating as far as Madison, Wis., and Washington, D.C., to fight for clean energy. Recently, they gathered in Boone to tell the Iowa Utilities Board not to approve the Bakken pipeline project through the state.

Whether Iowans know it or not, climate change is an issue that affects them, the group said.

“There are some people who talk about the economy all the time. Clean energy, renewable energy, can help the economy,” said Becky Ross. The impact can be seen and felt locally as well, Hall said, mentioning the damage caused by the flood of 2008. “The University of Iowa here has spent millions of dollars preparing for future floods,” she said.

Reach Stephen Gruber-Miller at 319-887-5407 or .com. Follow him at @sgrubermiller.

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