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PNS Daily Newscast - April 9, 2020 


Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders suspends his campaign for president. And COVID-19 is ravaging the black community in some areas, including Milwaukee.

2020Talks - April 9, 2020 


Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders drops out of the race for president, though he assured supporters yesterday his movement will continue. A federal judge ruled this week a lawsuit in Florida awaiting trial will apply to all people with former felony convictions, not just the 17 plaintiffs.

Survey: Rural Iowans Want Candidates to Address Climate Change

A recent Climate Nexus poll found 7 in 10 Iowa voters support government action that addresses climate change. (Practical Farmers of Iowa)
A recent Climate Nexus poll found 7 in 10 Iowa voters support government action that addresses climate change. (Practical Farmers of Iowa)
January 21, 2020

DES MOINES, Iowa -- As presidential hopefuls make their final pitches to Iowans before the upcoming caucuses, rural residents say they want to hear more about climate change.

Some political observers might think climate change is an issue more important to voters in coastal areas. But according to the Center for Rural Affairs, 91% of respondents to a recent survey said they were either "very" or "extremely" concerned about climate change affecting their lives.

Kalya Bergman, policy associate with the Center, said the participants were rural Iowans of all backgrounds.

"Educators, farmers, business owners, parents and all other backgrounds, and they're all concerned about and willing to take steps to address climate change," Bergman said.

Climate researchers say Iowa has seen the largest per-decade increase in annual average rainfall at more than 1 inch of precipitation. Bergman said the flooding from the higher rainfall totals is a direct threat to the more than 1 million people living in rural Iowa, where a lot of food and energy is produced.

Kevin Griggs runs EOR Iowa, an environmental engineering and consulting firm. He said he believes the state is on the front lines of climate change. And he's seen it first hand through the work his company does.

"Things like invasive species - plant and animal species, even some fish species," Griggs said.

Unlike recent presidential elections, some of the Democratic hopefuls in 2020 have taken notice of voter concerns in Iowa. That includes TV ads that focus on the Green New Deal, or fielding questions about the topic during forums.

Meanwhile, the Center for Rural Affairs says voters they've spoken to hope candidates will take actions like promoting programs that reward farmers for taking part in conservation and renewable energy initiatives.

Disclosure: Center for Rural Affairs contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy & Priorities, Environment, Hunger/Food/Nutrition, Rural/Farming. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.
Mike Moen, Public News Service - IA