Missouri climate activists look ahead to November election

COLUMBIA - Missouri climate activists are asking voters to learn more about climate change before they head to the polls on election day.

Groups gathered at Fourth and Cherry Street on Sunday for a bike ride in support of this mission. The ride was organized by Mid-Missouri Peaceworks, Osage Group Sierra Club, Renew Missouri and Climate Leaders at Mizzou.

Mark Haim, director of Mid-Missouri Peaceworks, said the groups came together to educate voters on the climate, and not in support of specific parties or candidates.

"We want to make sure that climate change is one of the key changes that voters attend to and that candidates attend to in this very important election," Haim said.

Carolyn Amparan, chair of the Osage Group Sierra Club and who also sits on the city's climate commission, stressed the importance of science heading into the election.

"Scientists have been telling us for a long time that we needed to be concerned about a pandemic, and their predictions came true," Amparan said. "The scientists have also been telling us for a long time that we have to be concerned about global warming."

According to Haim, the global community must commit itself to significant reductions in fossil fuel consumption to avoid further climate catastrophes.

Amparan said education is needed to meet those goals.

"20 years ago, you could ignore it because you couldn't see it around you," she said. "But now, it's happening. It's here in Missouri, it's happening on the coast, it's happening with the wild fires in the West. So there's so much physical evidence, if people would just pay attention, they would recognize it is happening."

Haim and Amparan say the easiest way to make an individual impact, besides voting for leaders with a clear plan to reduce fossil fuel emissions and create a renewable energy infrastructure, is by looking at our personal energy usage.

You can learn more about climate change by visiting KOMU 8's "Show Me Climate" webpage found by clicking here.

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