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Using Faith to Guide Climate Change Solutions for Farmers

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Wednesday, June 15, 2016   

DYERSVILLE, Iowa -- Climate change and the conversation about solutions to it are being taken up by people of faith in Iowa, especially farmers, who are hit particularly hard by floods, droughts and other climate events.

"All major faith traditions have something to say about caring for the Earth, and all major faith traditions have something to say about caring for those who are most vulnerable in our world," said the Rev. Susan Hendershot Guy, who is ordained within the Disciples of Christ Church and also is executive director of Iowa Interfaith Power and Light, a group that brings together people of all religious backgrounds. "Climate change is an issue that's impacting the Earth and the most vulnerable in our world."

Guy said Iowa farmers have been feeling the effects of climate change the most.

"I've seen farmers who are having crop impacts from seasons of severe flooding and extreme weather events and also seasons of drought," she said. "So we know that the cycle is kind of going up and down and this is having a huge impact on the people who are living in our rural communities in Iowa."

As a group bringing together people of diverse faiths, she said, the goal is to normalize the conversation around climate change. She said it's time to move beyond debates on its existence and instead work on solutions, many of which already have been enacted.

"There are some great things that are happening on farms in terms of energy efficiency, in terms of renewable energy like wind and solar, and they're having a really positive economic impact in rural communities," she said. "They're creating jobs and they're lowering the cost of doing business on a farm."

Guy is part of a panel of speakers featured at tonight's forum on the intersection between faith, climate change and agriculture being held in Nevada, Iowa. The forum also will present agricultural scientists from the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Iowa State University and DuPont.

Information about the forum is online at CFRA.org.


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