The Skywriter

"The Storm" begins in Missouri

19
Mar

"The Storm" begins in Missouri

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By 1Sky organizer Ed Smith.

Yesterday I coordinated a community meeting at Senator McCaskill’s office as part of "The Storm": a month-long series of unannounced visits to congressional offices to protect the Clean Air Act. The meeting at Senator McCaskill’s office was attended by her Regional Director in the St. Louis office. In attendance was a diverse cross-section of our community: Veterans For Peace, Franciscan Sisters of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, two retired educators, a green business owner, a local college student studying ecology and other environmental activists, along with 1Sky, Apollo Alliance and Repower America. (Check out the slideshow at the end of the post.)

During the standing room only meeting, each person spoke to why they were there. The stories for needing to protect the Clean Air Act and support comprehensive climate legislation varied widely. The reasons included ushering in a clean energy economy, being stewards of the planet God gave us to maintain, combating the increasing incidence of chronic health problems for children/adults living near coal plants, and preventing resource wars due to rising sea levels and desertification. It is clear that the health of our planet is indicative to the health of our lives in so many different ways.

Because the climate bill in the Senate hasn't been released, Senator McCaskill’s office did not disclose what her position was. Senator McCaskill believes in climate change but does not want the bill to adversely affect utility rates in Missouri. I brought to the staffer’s attention that Ameren UE (Missouri’s largest power provider) is proposing to raise rates on consumers for the third time since 2007. We are not saving money by doing nothing and we need change in Missouri and across the country.

After the meeting, we joined 15 other friends outside of Senator McCaskill’s office to show the community our support for climate action. We received many encouraging hoots, hollers and honks. I implore you to call, visit and write your elected officials and demand they protect our planet. We'll also alert you of any upcoming "Storms" in your area. The Earth cannot lobby Congress on its own behalf like coal and oil companies, but guess what: WE CAN!

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