September 21, 2018
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Panel discussion held on extreme weather and climate change

Community Author: CJ Johnson
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Maine Conservation Voters
Maine Conservation Voters

Meteorologist Keith Carson, farmer and environmental scientists featured

PORTLAND — Maine Conservation Voters and the Union of Concerned Scientists co-hosted a panel discussion of experts on the impacts of climate change on Thursday, June 28, at Sebago Brewing Company. The event was packed beyond capacity with environmentalists, scientists, and concerned citizens who wanted to learn about how climate change is affecting Maine right now, and what can be done.

Local meteorologist and TV personality Keith Carson underscored the importance of combating climate change denial, particularly in knowing where to place one’s efforts: “I have found that there’s a small group of people who are slightly skeptical about climate change, but not completely in denial. I use scientific reasoning and my presence on television and social media to persuade as many as I can.”

Lindsey Perry, an agriculturalist at River Lily Farm, spoke about the devastating effects these changes have had on our farmers: “Climate change puts local farmers at risk of losing everything; our crops, our land, our livelihood. Mitigation and adaptation is possible but at the expense of farmers investing in costly technology and sacrificing tradition. The only way to truly save our farming culture is by reducing our carbon footprint, investing in a clean energy future, and encouraging our legislators to support a fully-funded EPA.”

The group also heard from University of Southern Maine environmental science professors Drs. Joseph Staples and Robert Sanford about extreme weather events as a consequence of climate. They pointed to data which showed that in Maine and around the country, climate change is contributing to disasters like flooding, nor’easters, coastal erosion, and droughts.

Jake Roche of the Union of Concerned Scientists asked the public to reach out to their representatives to take on these issues: “Science champions and environmental activists are encouraged to take actions that influence our decision makers in Maine, and beyond, to stand up for science and act on climate.”

Maine Conservation Voters (MCV) cultivates and uses political power to conserve and protect Maine’s environment. MCV helps pass laws that protect our environmental legacy, elects pro-environment candidates to office, and holds our elected officials accountable, without regard to political party.

Contacts:

Chelsea (CJ) Johnson, Maine Conservation Voters, 207.620.8811, chelsea@maineconservation.org