Celebrate Earth Day every day

April 22 marked a half century of celebrating Earth Days, but do we observe it? Beyond Earth Day there is a growing national debate over the Green New Deal. We can each do our part by reducing our driving, use of electricity, and consumption of animals.

Why the attack on meat and dairy? A recent article in Nature argues that animal agriculture is a major driver of climate change, air and water pollution, and depletion of soil and freshwater resources. Oxford University’s prestigious Food Climate Research Network reports that solving the global warming catastrophe requires a massive shift to plant-based eating.

Carbon dioxide is emitted by burning forests to create animal pastures and by operating machinery to grow and transport animals.

The more damaging methane and nitrous oxide are released from digestive tracts of cattle and animal waste ponds, respectively.

Moreover, meat and dairy production dumps more animal waste, fertilizers, pesticides, and other pollutants into our waterways than all other human activities combined. It is the driving force behind wildlife extinction.

In an environmentally sustainable world, meat and dairy products in our diet must be replaced by vegetables, fruits, and grains, just as fossil fuels are replaced by wind, solar, and other pollution-free energy sources.

Let’s celebrate the observance of Earth Day at our supermarket.

Abbott Price

Council Bluffs

Don’t limit revenue to state and local government

The Iowa House is considering legislation that would place new limits on cities and counties in Iowa. The state regulates the percentage that cities and counties can collect in property taxes. Property values can go up (including on my house), which brings in more money. The Iowa House wants to put a complicated system in place to prevent any city or county from increasing revenues more than 2 percent per year.

Placing these new limits is a bad idea. My husband and I made the decision to move back to Iowa largely because California had allowed its once excellent schools to go downhill. Why had schools and other services declined in California? Proposition 13 had passed years before. Proposition 13 was a constitutional amendment that limited to 2 percent the amount that assessed valuations on property could be raised, and limited the percentage of property tax. House File 773 has the same effect as California’s Proposition 13. It makes it harder to generate the revenue necessary to fund schools, respond to natural disasters, fix roads, and support pensions. Contact your legislator today and ask them to vote against HF 773.

I don’t agree with the assessment on my house. I have recourse — I can challenge the valuation of my house, and vote city councilors out of office if I don’t think they need the increased revenues, or are spending them badly. I don’t think that a state-mandated straight jacket on local government is a good idea.

Emily Silliman

Iowa City

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