Some basic facts have become crystal clear over the past decade. Climate change is here. It is destructive. And we have done very little to control it. As a climate scientist and a director of an institute that proffers climate solutions to towns and cities in the Red state of Indiana, it might seem that I am on the front lines of several battles. But I can tell you that national partisan politics plays little part in how Indiana Mayors actually grapple with real climate problems, like sewer overflows from increasingly frequent extreme rainfall events, or delayed crop plantings from the same, or crop failures from extreme summertime temperatures. The Midwest is not immune to climate woes.
While most of the climate focus in the US is on the right and left coasts, with hurricanes and storm surges battering the former and extreme droughts and wildfires the latter, the Midwest is grappling with its own climate headaches. Talk to any Indiana farmer about weather over the past decades, and they will tell you the story of climate change, even if those words do not come out of their mouths. And they will tell you things are getting worse, and the solutions are few. Meanwhile, talk to any scientist or climate activist, and they will tell you that carbon emissions have to be drastically reduced, now, to maintain any semblance of a planet that our species evolved to live on. They are both right, but working on very different timelines.