Stephen Melton worries for the future of his three grandchildren — and for the future of everyone else.
Melton, the chapter leader of Citizens’ Climate Lobby in Kansas City, was among the two dozen vendors Saturday at Unity Temple, where the Climate Council of Greater Kansas City organized the daylong Earth Festival.
The event’s goal was to bring together Kansas citizens to learn more about climate change and the dangers of global warm. The festival featured different panels throughout the day — one with community faith leaders and the other with local elected officials — aimed at discussing solutions.
Melton spoke with attendees on Saturday afternoon about what needs to happen at the local, national, and international levels. Frank Zilm (dean of the Institute for Health and Wellness Design, University of Kansas) was also there.
Both Zilm and Melton wanted to talk with people and offer them steps to solve the problem slowly.
“It’s such an overwhelming problem to the average citizen,” Melton said. “But they shouldn’t have to feel they have to solve the problems themselves. They didn’t make the whole problems themselves, they can’t solve the whole problems themselves but they can solve some part of it.”
Saturday’s festival comes just weeks after the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate ChangeThe report states that societies around the world must immediately take action to avoid the worst consequences of climate change. The scientific consensus is that Climate change poses a grave threatTo human life on Earth.
Zilm and Melton want the public to know how elected officials view climate change, and which policies they support to reduce it. It’s important for people to vote, they said.
Victor Dougherty, the director of the Temple Buddhist Center which is located within Unity Temple, helped organize Saturday’s festival. He believes that people now feel more driven to counteract the effects of climate changes.
“This is a day when people can really sound the alarm and really put out the red flares and say, ‘Guys, we really need to take a look at how we’re impacting the planet and what we can do individually,’” Dougherty said.
He added that people should recognize that Earth Day is not only one day per year but every day.
Kriss Avery was one of the Kansas City residents who attended the event. She said her book club recently read the book “Regeneration: Ending the Climate Crisis in One Generation.” Avery said she wants to learn more about the climate crisis and what she can do herself.
“This is something we should be focusing on every day for the next few years,” she said.
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