Letter to Federal Elected Officials

Woman Writing Letter

On Monday, Oct. 18, I wrote my federal elected officials regarding the climate crisis. If U.S. Senators Chuck Grassley or Joni Ernst, or Representative Mariannette Miller-Meeks respond, I will copy the response below the text.

Dear Senator/Representative,

I hope you will support Democratic proposals to address the climate crisis.

As you well know, global warming is a crisis in Iowa.

I witnessed the effects of climate change multiple times since moving to our home near Solon.

  • The flood in 1993 delayed progress building our home as we moved from Indiana.
  • We experienced multiple straight line wind events that damaged the house, uprooted trees, blew down large branches, and tore through our neighborhood.
  • In 2008 there was record flooding that filled much of the Iowa and Cedar River basins, backing up water into the Lake Macbride watershed to within 100 yards of our home. It made roads around us impassible, and devastated Cedar Rapids, Iowa City and other nearby places.
  • In 2012 there was record drought which made life outdoors difficult and negatively impacted crops. In Johnson County corn yield decreased from 171.9 bushels per acre in 2011 to 132.4 in 2012, a 23 percent drop.
  • On Aug. 10, 2020 there was a derecho which took down one tree and damaged several others on our property. My greenhouse lifted in the air like Dorothy’s farmhouse in the Wizard of Oz. Winds up to 140 miles per hour destroyed 70 percent of the tree canopy in Cedar Rapids.

I know about climate change from living it as do most Iowans.

I don’t expect you to agree with everything Democrats propose. We both know that’s not how legislation works. I urge you to find common ground with other members of the Congress and take needed action to prevent and mitigate the worst effects of our warming planet.

Thank you for your consideration.

Regards, Paul

Email response dated Oct. 22, 2021.
Living in Society

Letter to Dave Loebsack

Dear Congressman Loebsack,

I took your poll regarding what the United States should do about the violation of international law and crime against humanity that was the chemical weapons attack in Syria. The choice of answers in the poll seemed to lead us to war, and nowhere else.

The choice between an air strike or none, is a false choice. The chemical weapons attack near Aleppo was a crime and the perpetrators should be brought to justice in the International Court of Justice. Period.

As a member of congress, one hopes you have more direct insight to the circumstances of this attack, and by whom it was perpetrated. As a citizen, it is not clear to me who did what to whom, and that makes it difficult to say what the U.S. should do about it.

What is particularly disheartening is the United Nations report released by Russia this afternoon, which indicates the makeup of the chemical weapons used in the attack were not from the Syrian chemical weapons arsenal. The report suggests the possibility that the chemical weapons were used by the rebels supported by the United States. If this U.N. report, and Russia’s analysis of it is accurate, there is even less basis for launching an air attack against Syria.

I trust you will consider these matters when making you decision on how to vote on an air strike on Syria.

Regards, Paul


Letter to Dave Loebsack

Open Letter to Congressman Dave Loebsack of Iowa’s Second District

Put a Price on Carbon

When I helped elect you to be our congressman, I didn’t know what that would mean. What I did know was that I wouldn’t agree with every vote you took. I haven’t.

Over the longer term of the last six and a half years, your votes with which I agreed outnumbered those with which I didn’t, and you have done the right thing when it has been important.

The next right thing is supporting President Obama’s second term initiative on climate change.

I ask you to seek ways to support the president’s agenda, importantly, by assigning a price to carbon. I encourage you to follow the lead of your former house colleague Senator Ed Markey on this.

I understand you may be reluctant to speak out on this important issue because of the negative political feedback you might receive. At the same time, you should land on the right side of history.

During your many trips to the district, I heard you speak repeatedly about how the Republican house leadership controls the agenda, so you don’t need to drag out that old sawhorse. Just know that CO2 emissions are directly related to the crazy weather Iowa has been experiencing, and we can do something to reverse the causes of CO2 emissions which contribute to global warming and climate change. Placing a price on carbon is an essential step.

As your constituent, I expect you to do your part.

Thanks for your work, and I’ll see you in the district this summer.

Regards, Paul

(UPDATE: Congressman Loebsack replied on Aug. 15, 2013)

Dear Mr. Deaton,

Thank you for contacting me about environmental issues. I’m honored to represent you. Your opinion is very important to me and my priority is to provide Iowa’s Second District with the best representation possible.

I am pleased to see the President speaking out on climate change issues recently. As the conversation on climate change continues in our national dialogue, I believe that people need to accept the science on this issue. We continue to face an increase of severe weather events across the country and globe that are threatening the safety of many and deeply costing our families, businesses, and communities.

I also agree that we need to reduce the amount of pollutants produced and concentrated in our atmosphere. It is critical that we work to address environmental issues occurring right now so that we pass on to our children and grandchildren a livable environment in the future. The current drought gripping Iowa demonstrates the difficulties that Iowa farmers, businesses, and families may face if negative climate uncertainties continue.

You may be interested to know I previously supported legislation to limit the amount of pollutants emitted, like carbon dioxide, and transform our outdated energy policy into one that reinvigorates American industrial and manufacturing sectors and allows Iowa’s thriving renewable energy sector to grow and become a global leader in clean energy production.

As a member of the Sustainable Energy and Environment Caucus, I will continue to look at ways to reduce pollution and promote the use of homegrown renewable energy alternatives. Thank you again for contacting me about this important issue.

My office is here to assist you with any and all concerns you have, so please do not hesitate to contact me whenever you feel that I can be of assistance. I encourage you to visit my website at and sign up for my e-newsletters to stay informed of the work I’m doing for you. I am proud to serve the Second District, and I am committed to working hard for Iowans.

Dave Loebsack
Iowa’s Second District