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There seems to be no end of controversy surrounding climate change. The scientific community is nearly unanimous in its findings that global warming is real – despite a current flap over embarrassing emails from some researchers in the U.K. National and world leaders are currently grappling with this enormous issue in Copenhagen, and we’ll see what comes of those important talks.
But back here in Missouri, we seem to have a more rational outlook on global warming – one that makes me proud to be from the Show Me State.
The Pew Charitable Trusts recently polled voters on their attitudes towards climate change. Here’s how Missourians responded:
• A large majority say global warming is a serious threat, and more than 2/3 favor aggressive actions to reduce carbon emissions;
• Two thirds support the main provisions of the Kerry-Boxer climate bill in the U.S. Senate, including requiring factories and power companies to reduce carbon emissions 80% by 2050, and requiring utilities to use much more clean energy like wind and solar;
• A sizeable majority want Missouri’s U.S. senators to support the energy bill, including a cap on carbon emissions.
Even when a national poll reports declining concern about climate change – another Pew study says 57% of Americans believe the planet is warming, down from 71% last year – we Missourians think otherwise. We understand the urgent need to address climate change, and we want our elected officials to start acting.
Missouri makes me proud. I only hope our Senators do the same – by listening to the majority of voters in this state and voting yes on federal climate legislation.
(The opinions expressed are not necessarily those of St. Louis Public Radio.)
Liz Forrestal is Executive Director for Missouri Votes Conservation, a non-profit that advocates for pro-environmental legislation in Missouri. She also participates in a number of community environmental groups, and is a board member of Audubon Missouri.