WEALTH Coalition to Host Comprehensive Climate Hearing

12 months ago | Feb 05, 2020
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Dorothy Barnett




Moti Rieber




For Immediate Release: 02/06/2020


WEALTH Coalition to Host Comprehensive Climate Hearing

Join climate experts, legislators, and advocates 

in a historic hearing on climate change in Kansas.


Monday, February 10, 2020 -  11:30-12:45

Kansas State Capitol Building

Room 582 North

300 SW 10th St., Topeka, KS 66612


Climate disruption impacts the lives, health, and economic well-being of Kansans. We are already seeing the impacts of a changing climate. If we do not take immediate action to reduce emissions, we face increased risks of extreme drought, wildfires, floods, and food shortages, all of which threaten livelihoods, destabilize communities, and drain resources. Climate change is a substantial concern to Kansas’ agricultural sector. Farmers, ranchers, construction workers, first responders, and military personnel, the very young and the very old,  are among the first to experience the effects of climate change. Climate change is a major public health concern for Kansans, and those least responsible will be the most impacted and least able to adapt. Solutions exist at all levels to build resilience, economic opportunities, and healthy communities. 


Now is the time for climate action. 

For more than ten years, the members of the WEALTH Coalition have worked to address climate resilience as it relates to Kansas Water, Energy, Air, Land, Transportation, and Health (WEALTH). Local governments are already taking action to build community resilience in the face of a changing climate, but Kansas still needs action at the state level.  It’s time for a comprehensive hearing on climate disruption, its potential impacts on Kansas, and what we can do about it. Without a committee addressing climate change directly, there is no natural site for discussions about impacts or solutions at the legislature. 

That is, until now. 

The WEALTH Coalition will be sponsoring a Comprehensive Climate Hearing during our annual WEALTH Day of Advocacy and Education on Monday, February 10 at 11:30 in 582 North at the Kansas Statehouse. The hearing will bring together a committee made up of members representing both chambers and parties, as well as members of the community with expertise or commitment to climate action to discuss the science of climate change, the costs to our state and agriculture economy, our health and environment, along with solutions and strategies for resilience. The chair of the hearing will be Representative Don Hineman of Dighton and will include Representatives Horn, Xu, Cox and Kuether, and Sen. Hardy along with a host of others.

Rabbi Moti Rieber, Executive Director of Kansas Interfaith Action and one of the organizers of the hearing, said, "This hearing will not be a rally or a show; it will be a serious effort to address a problem that Kansas has been ignoring for too long. The information will be solid and the proposals will be both achievable and effective. We hope that it will kickstart a long-overdue conversation about climate disruption in Kansas.” 

This committee will hear from issue experts on a full range of climate-related issues: the science of climate disruption and its potential impacts on Kansas; impacts on the agricultural sector and potential responses; impacts on the health of Kansas residents; potential changes in the energy sector; economic and racial justice implications; resilience and adaptation, and more. Conferees are experts in these areas and will include Doug Kluck of NOAA, Dorothy Barnett of Climate + Energy Project, Fred Iutzi of the Land Institute, Richard Mabion of Kansas City Kansas NAACP, Moti Rieber of Kansas Interfaith Action and others. 

For more information, see the Kansas Climate + Health Declaration at www.ResilientKansas.org. Details about Kansas WEALTH Day of Advocacy and Education are available at bit.ly/2020WEALTHDay