On March 27, at the regular monthly membership meeting of the Topeka Group, Phil Morse wasrecognized for his many years of service to the Topeka Group and the Kansas Chapter. Phil servedon the Topeka Group ExCom from 2005 to 2011, and was the group Energy Chair and Political Chairduring those years. He was instrumental on obtaining the “Cool Cities” designation for Topeka in2006, and for Shawnee County in 2007. Phil chaired the monthly Energy Committee meetings forthe Topeka Group, and the question always on his mind was, “How can we get the word out?” Philstrongly believes that the problems of global warming can be addressed and solved througheducation, and global warming solutions were the “word” that Phil wanted to convey to the public. In this vein, Phil was the sparkplug behind many of the Topeka Group’s public outreach efforts,including booths and tabling events at the annual Topeka Lawn and Garden Show, the annual CiderDays Festival at the Kansas Expocentre, the annual Green Fair at the Topeka and Shawnee CountyLibrary, and many other events.
Phil also served on the Kansas Chapter ExCom and was state Political Chair for two years. Phil’scommittee was in charge of endorsements for candidates seeking public office, and to facilitate thisprocess, Phil developed detailed information on incumbents’ voting records and candidate positionson issues of importance to the Sierra Club. One ExCom member commented at a meeting in 2008that Phil’s work concerning information gathering on political candidates was one of the mostthorough and helpful ever developed by a political chair.
Phil has always been interested in the outdoors and the environment, but he put on his activist bootsafter attending a Topeka Group meeting in 2005 where Charles Benjamin, former chapter legislativecoordinator, spoke about the planned development of the Holcomb coal plant (then planned for threeunits) and the massive amounts of greenhouse gases that would be pumped into the atmosphere ifthe plant were ever built. That was when Phil decided he had to “do something” to help stopHolcomb, and as a result he became committed to this cause.
For health reasons, Phil stepped down from his Sierra Club offices, but remains a committed SierraClub member. Phil was presented a plaque by the Topeka Group honoring his years of service andtireless effort on behalf of the Topeka Group, the Kansas Chapter, the Sierra Club, and theenvironment.
By Paul Post, Topeka Group Membership Chair