Letter to the Times: Start asking reps to take action on climate change (even Republicans!)

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Note: The Lawrence Times runs opinion columns and letters to the Times written by community members with varying perspectives on local issues. These pieces do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Times staff.

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Kansans’ representatives in Congress don’t hear from their constituents enough about the climate emergency. I learned this recently as part of the Lawrence chapter of the Citizens Climate Lobby (CCL), a volunteer-powered organization dedicated to bipartisan efforts to address climate change.

In June, I participated in CCL’s Lobby Weekend and met with a staff member of Kansas House District 1 Rep. Tracey Mann. During this meeting I asked how often Mann’s offices heard from individuals about climate change. The answer: rarely. They hear more from business leaders and farmers who are worried about changes they will have to adjust to as the world addresses earth’s rising temperature.

Though Republican leadership isn’t generally thought of as being proactive on climate action, 41 Republicans in Congress supported the CHIPS and Science Act in August, which is considered “one of the largest climate bills ever passed by Congress.” And although the possibility of CCL’s larger goal of a carbon fee and dividend seems very small on the horizon, public opinion on the need to take climate action is growing, and I believe we will reach that goal eventually.

To help us make progress, reach out to candidates in the days leading up to the election on Nov. 8. Let them know that you believe action on climate change is vital in their coming term as our representatives. And don’t stop asking all elected officials to take action on climate change.

Bailey Mareu (she/her), Lawrence
Citizens Climate Lobby, Lawrence Chapter

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