My name is Carey Maynard-Moody and I am chair of the Wakarusa Group KS Chapter Sierra Club. I am also coordinator of the KS Chapter Sierra Club Cool City campaign. I speak to you on behalf of these entities tonight re the matter of a mayoral appointed climate protection task force.
Some of you may have visited the Sierra Club’s Cool Cities website: www.coolcities.us.
For awhile Lawrence was a feature city on the home page of this website. Then we got bumped. Other Cooler Cites usurped that honor. Why were they deemed cooler than Lawrence? Because they allocated resources necessary to get with the program of measuring GHG emissions, designing an emission cutting program and implementing it.
Most of you, as commissioners, authorized the signing of the Mayoral Agreement for Climate Protection. Mayor Highberger at that time, directed city staff to reduce the city’s GHG emissions with recommendations from the Sustainability Advisory Board. My organization was encouraged by this decision on your part. We have struggled to be patient as staff worked with new appointments, with the SAB, and considered, rejected and reconsidered ICLEI membership. Two years have passed. Tonight you hear that more is needed to get a clear picture of where the city has been as an emitter of Green House Gasses, how much it wants to reduce them by, and how to achieve this reduction in emissions.
The Sierra Club supports the SAB recommendation of a Climate Protection Task Force. If you agree to establish this task force, we encourage you to be thoughtful in your appointments to it. From our observations of the Governor’s appointed KS Energy Council, the primary qualification that a task force member must have is that they have the greater good at heart. Each member must be authorized and supported by their employers or boards to put this devotion to the greater good before company or institutional gains. Before making your appointments to this task force, please study why the KEC has been an abysmal failure. Please do not replicate their foot dragging because, honestly, where the issue of global warming is concerned, every day matters. We simply don’t have the luxury of wasting more time before making changes necessary to protect the climate.
The Sierra Club and my Cool Cities Committee support this recommendation of a climate protection task force. We look forward to its forthcoming recommendations. We look forward to finding Lawrence back on the home page of www.coolcities.us as the featured city that is seriously taking the global warming bull by the horns and becoming part of the solution, not part of the problem.
Good evening, Mayor Hack and Commissioners,