The news has been dominated by the financial crisis, but it’s the climate crisis that may have a greater impact on the economics, health, environment and livelihoods of Kansas City residents, as well as billions of people around the world for decades to come.
What would be the cost of not dealing with climate change? Consider what flooding on the Missouri and Red rivers has cost individuals, cities and taxpayers in the last few years. Now multiply it by millions, because that’s what is in store as floods, droughts and violent storms all increase as a result of climate change. And the poor, the disadvantaged and women will be hurt first and worst.
Last week, Reps. Henry Waxman and Ed Markey introduced new legislation that seeks to lower emissions, create a market-based approach for developing jobs in renewable energy and building community resiliency (4/1, A-5). With this legislation, Congress can address both climate change and economic stagnation.
We should all encourage our Missouri and Kansas representatives — Emanuel Cleaver and Dennis Moore — to support this emerging legislation. Their leadership can help spur the use of renewable energy, create new clean jobs here at home and cut our dependence on foreign oil.
President, League of Women Voters — Jackson, Clay and Platte counties