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
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
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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