Climate Change Basics
As a part of the world’s natural systems, the stability of our communities and land on which we stand is increasingly vulnerable due to climate change. Climate change impacts every community across the globe. While in different ways, each of us are threatened by the impacts of climate change. Extreme droughts, more frequent flooding, increased wildfires, loss of habitat for rare and endangered species are just some of the adverse impacts of climate change. The interweavings of our daily decisions and how they contribute to climate change are complex, but one thing is clear: the energy choices we make impact climate change and thereby threaten the stability of our communities, our health, and our natural places.
Click on the image below for a video from Twin Cities Public Television on how climate change impacts our daily lives! Source: Climate Change in Minnesota Part 1 of 2, Twin Cities Public Television, available on YouTube.com.
Energy Sources and Climate Change
For decades, we have been advocating for responsible energy practices because the sources of energy we use impact our land, air, and water, in addition to climate change, which further threatens the stability of our natural systems. Since the 1970s, MCE has worked to shut down the Callaway nuclear plant and oppose the expansion of nuclear energy in Missouri. While we need carbon-free energy solutions, we need an energy portfolio for Missouri without nuclear. To learn more about the risks of nuclear energy and the work we do to fight the expansion of nuclear energy in Missouri, visit our Safe Energy page. To learn more about greenhouse gases and how fossil fuels contribute to climate change, visit our Carbon Pollution page.
Efforts to Combat Climate Change and Increase Renewable Energy Production
The world is recognizing the impacts of climate change on our lives and the need to change our energy decisions in order to prevent further devastation from climate change. Missouri Coalition for the Environment is working to support efforts at the national and state level to reduce our carbon emissions and increase our renewable energy and energy efficiency use. We collaborate with several organziations across Missouri to advocate for stronger climate and energy policy through a partnership called the Missouri Clean Energy Coalition (MCEC). Visit the Clean Air Missouri Webpage to learn more about MCEC, MCEC members and supporters, and to take action on climate policy. If you or your organization would like to become an official member or supporter of MCEC, contact Safe Energy Director Ed Smith.
At the national level, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is working to reduce the United States’ carbon emissions by 30% below 2005 levels through the Clean Power Plan (CPP). On August 3, 2015, President Obama and EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy released the final rule of the Clean Power Plan, which sets the first ever national standards to reduce carbon pollution from power plants. To learn more about this historic action to combat climate change, here are several useful resources:
- EPA’s detailed website about the Clean Power Plan final rule
- EPA’s useful interactive infographic, Ten Things To Know About the EPA’s Clean Power Plan.
- The White House’s Climate Change webpage, including several infographics about the Clean Power Plan’s benefits and a video about climate change impacts narrated by President Obama.
At the state level, Governor Nixon directed the Division of Energy under the Department of Economic Development to develop a Comprehensive State Energy Plan (CSEP). Both of these plans have taken over a year to develop with multi-stakeholder involvement. The final CPP is expected to be released in August 2015 and the final CSEP is expected to be released in October 2015.
In June 2015, the Union of Concern Scientists (USC) wrote an article illustrating that Missouri has the opportunity for an energy transformation with the expected release of the Governor’s CSEP and the EPA’s CPP. What better way to ensure a responsible energy future by drafting the final CSEP in compliance with the anticipated final CPP. To learn more about the processes involved to develop and implement these plans, visit our Clean Power Plan and Comprehensive State Energy Plan pages.