Public Citizen will host events in Dallas and Fort Worth, Nov. 8-9. Courtesy of Public Citizen Texas.
Oct. 31, 2017
North Texans can learn more about how Texas could be affected by climate change next week when a statewide tour to raise public awareness comes to DFW.
Both Dallas and Fort Worth will host stops as part of the Texas Climate Change Tour, a city-by-city presentation hosted by Public Citizen on how rising temperatures around the globe are affecting life, property and the economy in the Lone Star state.
The Dallas event will be held Nov. 8, at 6:30 p.m. at Brookhaven College, Building H in the Spindletop Room. The Fort Worth event will be held on Nov.9, at 6:30 p.m. at the Fort Worth Botanic Gardens.
The tour hosted by the nonprofit consumer rights and energy policy advocacy group, started in late summer with 20 cities scheduled. Ironically seven cities were dropped from the lineup as they deal with the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. The devastating weather event dropped 51 inches of rainfall in Southeast Texas, leaving 450,000 victims in need of FEMA assistance and $75 billion in estimated losses, as reported by CNN.
In addition to stopping in large cities, the tour will also take its message to smaller towns in the state.
During each presentation, Adrian Shelley, formerly of Air Alliance Houston and now director of Public Citizen Texas, will give an update on the latest research about climate change and how Texans will fare in the extreme climate conditions caused by human activities on the planet.
“Both those that accept and deny climate change will see the mounting body of scientific evidence that Texas and other parts of the country are experiencing weather extremes in temperature rise, drought and floods with increased frequency and with less time lapsing between those episodes,” says Rita Beving, a North Texas organizer and outreach consultant for Public Citizen. “The winter of 2017 is already the wettest winter on record and we've been shattering records for heat and droughts as well in recent years.”
The North Texas tour stops are being sponsored by Dallas Sierra Club, Downwinders at Risk, Greater Fort Worth Sierra Club, DCCCD Green Team, Brookhaven College Sustainability Committee, Citizens Climate Lobby, 350.org Dallas, Liveable Arlington and Tarrant Coalition for Environmental Awareness. Representatives from the groups will also speak during the stops, presenting their work on climate change initiatives.
Additionally, those who attend will have the chance to participate in a Q&A session during the event. Past stops have seen audiences with up to 120 people, and reception has been positive, says Beving.
A lack of political action on climate change prompted the tour, and the stops are aimed at both those who accept the science behind global warming and those who reject it.
“Due to the U.S. pulling out the Paris climate accord, we felt we needed to educate the public and also get feedback from fellow Texans,” Beving says. “Many new studies and information have come out regarding climate change. There is also new information related to Texas. We want to educate people on what the latest data is regarding this important subject while seeing what the public believes and what questions they have.”
Beving says that although the outlook for climate change and how it will affect the world is dire, there are still steps that individuals and communities can take to mitigate the severity of the issue. Undoubtedly, Texas is a state prone to heat waves and dry spells, tornados and even the occasional major hurricane. Climate change is not the cause of these natural occurrences, Beving says, but a rise in the average global temperature will make these weather events and climatic conditions far worse.
“Before Hurricane Harvey, studies had already predicted that a $650-million-per-year increase in storm-related losses may occur along our coast by 2050, bringing the state’s total annual damages to more than $3.9 billion. It seems our most recent hurricane is already bringing that reality to the Texas coast even sooner," Beving says. “We aren't in a good situation, but keeping this topic on the front burner helps remind people that we need to move on this ever-pressing situation.”
All are welcome at each event, and admission is free. Those who wish to attend are encouraged to register through the Public Citizen Texas’ Facebook page.
Texas Climate Change Tour
Hosted by: Public Citizen Texas
About: A city-by-city presentation on how rising temperatures around the globe are affecting life, property and the economy in the Lone Star state. The North Texas tour stops are being sponsored by Dallas Sierra Club, Downwinders at Risk, Greater Fort Worth Sierra Club, DCCCD Green Team, Brookhaven College Sustainability Committee, Citizens Climate Lobby, 350.org Dallas, Liveable Arlington and Tarrant Coalition for Environmental Awareness.
When: Nov. 8 & 9
Where: Dallas event will be held Nov. 8, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. on 2017 at Brookhaven College, Building H in the Spindletop Room. The Fort Worth event will be held on Nov.9, 6:30 - 9:00 p.m. at the Fort Worth Botanic Gardens.