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From Paris to Pittsburgh Iowa Lakes featured in upcoming documentary

Dan Lutat, Faith Lutat to be featured in Wednesday showing

December 9, 2018
Amy H. Peterson - Staff Writer ( , Estherville News

The premiere of the National Geographic documentary Paris to Pittsburgh will be shown around the world Wednesday evening starting at 8 p.m. One of the viewing sites is the SERT building at Iowa Lakes Community College.

Beth Elman, Executive Director of Marketing for Iowa Lakes Community College, said, "This is a wonderful documentary about climate change and features Dan and Faith Lutat and Iowa Lakes Community College's wind energy program."

Dan Lutat said of the SERT programs at the College, "We develop what every employer wants: grit, determination and professional qualities. Traditional students and career changers alike develop interpersonal skills, problem solving skills, and above all a sense of service."

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Dan Lutat said his daughter and first-year wind energy student Faith found that "technology helps people solve problems."

The participation of Iowa Lakes and the wind programs happened when earlier this year, the production team was referred to Lutat because of the program's international reputation as a leading wind program.

"They were not disappointed. We showed them why Iowa is a leader in renewable energy development," Dan Lutat said.

Fact Box

Big climate news covered by CCE

Citizens Climate Education/Lobby discusses major report and new law

On Black Friday, while Americans shopped for holiday deals, the 13 federal agencies who report to the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) delivered their Fourth National Climate Assessment Report to Congress and the President.

Coral Davenport and Kendra Pierre-Louis wrote, "The report puts the most precise price tags to date on the cost to the United States economy of projected climate impacts: $141 billion from heat-related deaths, $118 billion from sea level rise, and $32 billion from infrastructure damage by the end of the century, among others."

The report indicates climate change has brought wetter springs and hotter summers, which have both impacted Iowa's farm economy; the requirement in the future to grow more food and less arable land; and a damaged environment causing a shrinking economy.

Days later, the bipartisan Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (HR 7173) was introduced in the U.S. House by three Republican and three Democrat representatives.

The policy states: efficient markets strengthen our economy by encouraging competition and innovation; markets are most efficient when prices reflect all costs, including externalities, and pollution costs are externalities which burden all Americans and future generations.

Carbon dividends, then, will improve market efficiency, drive innovation, and create jobs.

The bill creates carbon emissions reduction targets and establishes a gradually-rising carbon fee based on the carbon content of fuels, and provides for establishment of Carbon Equalization Tariff on import and export of carbon-intensive goods. The full text of the bill can be found at

After becoming familiar with the SERT team, the facilities at Iowa Lakes Community College, and the wind turbine, the SERT team and the National Geographic team brainstormed ideas for a number of interviews spotlighting current students and graduates of the programs.

"We put their team of seven through safety and familiarization training so they understood the nature of the environment they were filming in, and they were superb," Dan Lutat said.

The National Geographic team was on campus for two days: a day of interviews, and a day of shooting footage. Throughout these conversations, the connections between wind energy and other sustainable resource fields became clearer and, Dan Lutat said, cemented their understanding of how connected all the fields are.

Several days ago, the Lutats and members of the SERT team had the opportunity to screen Paris to Pittsburgh in Des Moines, spending the day with Michael Bloomberg and a team from Bloomberg Philanthropies.

Dan Lutat said, "It was clear that he and his team appreciated the opportunity to work with Iowans to illustrate that there are issues we can all get behind to improve our environmental and energy stewardship. They were gracious and treated everyone professionally."

After the screening, Bloomberg asked viewers what stood out.

"From my perspective, what stood out was that this film is not about sensational politics. It is about the realization that people everywhere are adapting to changes all around them with a new awareness that the simplest of good ideas are all it takes to have a big impact," Dan Lutat said.

"While our contribution to Paris to Pittsburgh highlights wind energy, it really celebrates Iowa Lakes. People hear about wind energy, yet find so many other opportunities when they visit - and we all rise," Dan Lutat said.

Wind energy, along with other sustainable resource fields, is an exciting part of the future of work in the U.S., Dan Lutat said.

"Sustainable energy is not a new concept. What's changed is our decision to put it to work. Industries of all types support jobs and economic growth that do the right thing. There is no better combination to move us in the right direction and it is the future," Dan Lutat said.

In the trailer to the film, Dan Lutat says in a voiceover as he and Faith are shown securing their gear and climbing up the wind turbine, "My daughter, Faith, she made the decision that this is where she wanted to be."

Dan Lutat said, "People with a passion for doing something good for the environment and for America's energy future can have a family income and a recession-proof career - anywhere they choose to be, like right here in Iowa."

He continued, "That's what makes the future so exciting. Young people from our communities can make a difference in the world and have great experiences in the process. They bring those ideas home and put them to work. If you are a person who wants to have a big impact, Iowa Lakes is waiting for you."



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