A Citizens Guide to Climate Change, a 16-page report on the impending climate crisis and summaries of potential solutions proposed to counter it, has been released by the newly formed West Virginia Climate Alliance.
“This guide is the beginning of a dialog with West Virginians,” said Charleston’s Perry Bryant, a member of the Alliance. “Regardless of who wins the election this November, climate change legislation is likely to be considered in 2021. West Virginians need to understand the range of options for addressing climate change and how these options will affect our state and its people.”
Strategies under consideration for mitigating the effects of climate change are covered in the guide, including carbon fees and taxes, cap-and-trade pricing for carbon, fuel economy standards and tax incentives for low-carbon technologies. Key components of the Green New Deal are also discussed.
According to the guide’s introduction, information used in its compilation is “scientifically valid,” and relies heavily on research from government agencies. The guide was produced for “people who are concerned about climate change and want more information.”
“We’re noticing more West Virginians seeking to have a better understanding of climate change,” said Angie Rosser, director of the West Virginia Rivers Coalition, one of the groups that make up the West Virginia Climate Alliance. “It’s a complex issue with many implications for our state, and this guide is a starting point for people to become more informed.”
In West Virginia, climate change may have played a role in deadly flooding in June 2016, caused by a downpour severe enough to be expected only once in 1,000 years, according to the guide, citing a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration report. Some of the hottest temperatures on record for September and October were recorded last year during those months, according to the guide.
While West Virginia is located in the heart of coal country, “we believe people can help fight climate change and at the same time, treat coal miners with dignity and respect,” Bryant said.
The West Virginia Climate Alliance includes the American Friends Service Committee, Center for Energy and Sustainable Development, Citizens Climate Lobby West Virginia, League of Women Voters of West Virginia, Christians for the Mountains, Moms Clean Air Force-West Virginia, Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition, Sierra Club of West Virginia, West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy, West Virginia Citizen Action Education Fund, West Virginia Interfaith Power and Light and the West Virginia Rivers Coalition.