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Univ. Profs Plan Community Climate Change Meeting  :  Published March 2007 All Rights Reserved


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Univ. Profs Plan Community Climate Change Meeting


Since President George W Bush took office in year 2000 the White House has avoided addressing what is being called global warming (climate change) and the resulting -- projected or assumed -- impact upon the United States. However the issue of climate change has been taken-up in boardrooms, state capitols, and by small groups across the country independently of federal inaction. 

One small group of citizens in southeastern Missouri now join the ranks of independents by urging residents to take the issue of climate change seriously at home.

The state of Missouri, which lies west of the Mississippi River, is in the heart of the nation's bread basket. As with all midwestern states in the United States it remains unclear whether such climate change predictions spell disastrous consequences for that landlocked region. Future predictions of rainfall for Missouri vary widely, however most point to a drop in annual precipitation during the growing season, which if true, would indeed reshape that state's economy in a negative way. Little if any rainfall would be available from June through September -- essentially creating a vast new desert region in the heart of the United States.

Kathy Conway and Alan Journet, organizers of the event in Cape Girardeau, MO, point to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change as the catalyst for their first meeting on 7 March 2007. Organizers stated that they remain detached from political party affiliation and encourage both sides to join their discussions. Journet, who is a leukemia survivor, teaches biology at Southeast Missouri State University where Conway teaches elementary, early, and special education.

"The Southeast Missouri Climate Protection Initiative is a non-partisan community organization dedicated to promoting activities in Southeast Missouri that will reduce to the extent possible and feasible further release of greenhouse gases into our global environment," organizers wrote in their announcement. "Although, as an organization, we are striving for a non-partisan approach to the issue, we encourage and warmly welcome folks of any political background to join us in this venture."

The town's mayor Jay Knudtson said that evidence of climate change is worth studying, but that he would not commit to group organizers, citing possible "financial consequences" involved in such a commitment. Knudtson told the local press that he'd recognize (through proclamation) the benefits of heighten awareness and education on climate change.

The group's first meeting is at 7 p.m. local time at the Hirsch Community Room of the Cape Girardeau Public Library. Additional events are planned for 28 March, 10 April, and 1 May.


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