We live in a time of great contradictions. As Iowa IPL invests in finding and implementing faith-based solutions to climate change, we’re working hard to find a path forward among competing efforts, limited resources, deeply held political positions, and conflicting policies.
On one hand there is an urgency for action revealed in an onslaught of reports such as the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change special report in October and last month’s National Climate Assessment.
On the other hand, many elected leaders are downgrading the urgency, questioning the science, and even implementing policies that increase greenhouse gas emissions like the law passed earlier this year in Iowa to gut our energy efficiency programs.
In the middle are endless polls such as the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication trying to figure out how serious the American electorate is in reducing emissions and removing greenhouse gas pollution from the atmosphere.
For almost 13 years, Iowa IPL has navigated the challenges of aligning our work with the resources available. At times that has meant expanding our staff and at other times contracting it. Unfortunately, going into 2019, we only have the resources to support one staff member.
It is with deep regret that Iowa IPL must end the position of program and outreach coordinator on December 31. Sarah Paulos has served in this position and in other programming roles as an employee and volunteer for the past 12 years. Her dedication to Iowa IPL is unparalleled. (Please read more about Sarah’s contributions and departure.)
Our need to downsize our staff is because resources from foundations, government grants, and major donors are being affected by the contradictions mentioned above. The organizations and philanthropists who fund efforts like the work we do at Iowa IPL are making major adjustments to what efforts they want to support. What this means for Iowa IPL and all organizations working on climate change is a need to reevaluate and realign our work.
For Iowa IPL, our need for reevaluation and realignment also comes at a time of a serious short-term decline in resources. We are confident there will be additional grants in the future, but we don’t know exactly when. We also know that competition for these resources will increase. With your continued support, Iowa IPL can be competitive and win future grants to support education and advocacy for renewable energy, energy efficiency, and carbon capture on Iowa farms.
While this is my first time leading an organization, I’ve spent my entire professional career working with non-profits to create a brighter future. This need to reduce expenses and realign our work to leverage future funding is a constant challenge for all non-profits and indeed part of the history and success of Iowa IPL. I deeply believe in the mission of Iowa IPL. I feel blessed to be called to this work. I will greatly miss working with Sarah and her energy, passion, and expertise in the coming year. But most of all, I’m confident that with your support we can continue to equip Iowans to find and implement faith-based solutions to climate change.