Iowa Ideas 2022

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Energy and Environment

Efficient, sustainable solutions for future generations.

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Energy and Environment Articles

  • When it comes to cleaning up Iowa’s dirty water, do we need to stop the insanity or persuade farmers and landowners to embrace a “new vision” for agriculture? That was the gist of the debate on an Iowa Ideas panel I recently moderated. Chris Jones, IIHR research engineer at the University of Iowa and one of the leading voices and researchers on ...
  • We all want the lights to turn on when we flip the switch and to have heat when there’s a blizzard and air conditioning during a heat wave. But American utility companies, including those in Iowa, are facing increasing pressure to slash greenhouse gas emissions in hopes of preventing the worst effects of global climate change.
  • The tall grasses that billow and bend in the wind between Melrose Avenue and the Finkbine Commuter parking lot on Iowa City’s west side not only are beautiful, but they help the University of Iowa toward its goal of going coal free by 2025. Since 2015, the University of Iowa steadily has increased the acres of giant miscanthus, a perennial grass...
  • Doug Berven doesn’t mind if the word “transitional” is used to describe ethanol as a fuel — as long as people recognize the transition between gasoline-powered vehicles and an all-electric fleet likely will take some time and ethanol may have a part in the future. “If ethanol is a bridge, it’s a very wide bridge and you can’t see the other side,...
  • It’s officially summer and many Iowans are hitting the road for their favorite lakeside vacation spots to do some swimming, boating or fishing. But how much does the quality of the water factor into which lake we visit?
  • Water is perhaps the most important thing in the world. Life centers on it. Our bodies are three-fourths water. We can't exist without it.
  • As derecho and COVID 19 impacts all, certain demographics felt the challenges deeper than most. Looking for resources from food, water, ice, and more how do we better our system for at-risk populations. What does the future look like as impact of increased energy bills from loss of tree canopy to socio-economic challenges? What do we need to do ...
  • Improving Iowa's water quality issues remains at the top of the to do list for many. But how to do it is a source of debate. We'll look at a few cover crop/manure research and upstream policy projects that are under way as well as discuss Iowa's latest efforts on its nutrient reduction strategy. Panelists include: Scott Nelson, Director of Agron...
  • In the span of an hour, the 2020 derecho wreaked havoc on the region's power grids, creating a workload that would normally take years to complete. What were some of the greatest challenges in getting back online and what lessons have we learned as we go forward? How fragile is our power grid right now and how long will it take to make full repa...
  • With a disaster taking out more than 50% of a region's tree canopy in just over an hour of time, how have other communities tackled the problem and what could recovery look like here? We'll look at what was done in Galveston, Texas, in Canada, and catch up with those who will be working on reforestation in Cedar Rapids. Panelists include: Shanno...

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