Small steps to fight climate change in Nebraska

OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) – Examining Nebraska’s place in the fight against climate change.

6 On Your Side with how each Nebraskan can help out as the UN reports efforts to avert disaster.

SPECIAL REPORT: Last week the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a report written by hundreds of leading scientists showing it is “now or never” for worldwide action to avert climate disaster.

Challenges from climate change are also faced in the Heartland.

6 News is reporting a series of stories this week leading up to Earth Day on Friday, April 22. Watch for more reports this week on WOWT and

It can seem daunting, the idea of ​​maintaining sustainability in Nebraska in the face of unprecedented global warming. But everybody we talked to this week said the same thing, just take a deep breath, and do something.

“I’ve got soybean grass planted here, it holds the moisture, I’ve never watered it.”

The guiding force behind Green Bellevue, Don Preister does things he’s always done.

“I enjoy hanging clothes on the line, I love putting those fresh sheets on my bed.”

He grows a healthy garden and captures more juice from his solar panels than he needs. That’s money in his pocket, too.

“You put that in a salad, these one measures coming in and going out.”

Whatever it is Preister believes these little things matter.

“We can all do those things. In terms of carbon, scientists tell us that we need to stay below 350 parts per million in the atmosphere and we’re already at 450 and climbing so we’re at the precipice of that cliff going off we all need to look at our own lifestyle and find ways to have an impact, ”said Preister, Bellevue city councilman.

Trees can have a huge impact. Green Bellevue has planted 1100 of them over the past 12 years.

Omaha is following suit.

“We have plans in place to replace trees, hundreds of trees to keep up with just what we need to do in parks and our part. To sustain those things we’re looking at things like stormwater runoff, we’re looking at sustainable practices in terms of management of our turf surfaces and things like that, “said Matt Kalcevich, City of Omaha Director of Parks, Rec, & Public Property.

“Sometimes people lose hope but small actions lead to bigger actions which leads to behavior change so I absolutely feel, and I don’t have a choice but to remain positive, is that we will work together to solve this,” said Martha Ski, Nebraska state climatologist.

”Find what you can do find the examples that are out there of it being done ask questions. Step up and do it and feel good about it. ”

Earth Day is Friday and Saturday is the metro’s largest annual Earth Day celebration. It runs from 6 pm-11 pm at Elmwood Park.

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