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Groups' Halloween Message to Ducey: Climate Change is Scary

Advocates are pressing Gov. Doug Ducey to take a different path on climate change than President Trump. (Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons)
Advocates are pressing Gov. Doug Ducey to take a different path on climate change than President Trump. (Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons)
October 31, 2017

PHOENIX – The scariest thing this Halloween may just be the effects of climate change - but the solutions aren't frightening at all.

That's the message that a group of faith, business and conservation leaders are sending to Gov. Doug Ducey this Halloween. They're delivering a letter today signed by 2,000 Arizonans asking him to pursue the goals of the Clean Power Plan and the Paris Climate Accord even though the Trump administration has rejected both.

Sandy Bahr, director of the Grand Canyon Chapter of the Sierra Club, says action on a state level - despite federal obstruction - could make a huge difference.

"We can do this in a way that is beneficial for our economy, for our health and the climate," she says. "Unfortunately, Gov. Ducey has not been a leader, and we're asking him to step up and be one."

Bahr says climate change already is leading to longer and more intense heat waves and forest fires - and to a greater risk of heat-related deaths and diseases such as asthma that are linked to carbon pollution. She says she'd like Ducey to develop a plan to fight climate change - that includes clean car standards, energy efficiency, and more renewable energy.

Sarah King, who chairs the Arizona Faith Coalition's Earth Care Commission, says human decency requires us to defend low-income families, children and the elderly - who are most affected by heat waves and air pollution.

"It's a moral issue," she says. "The people who are getting hurt first and worst are the most vulnerable and the poorest among us. And by ignoring the issue of climate change and not taking action on it, we are harming them even more."

Vance Marshall, a commercial real estate developer in Scottsdale, says he wants to see the state and nation follow through on their commitments to energy efficiency in the Paris Accords.

"The built environment uses about 40 percent of our electricity, so the objective is to make those buildings more energy efficient," he explains. "When you make a plan like that, it is a long-term plan. So don't start moving that direction and then say, oh, we're going to disregard Paris."

The 2016 Paris Climate Agreement committed the U.S. to reduce carbon emissions in the year 2025 by a little more than a quarter of what they were in 2005. After President Trump vowed to withdraw from the accord, thousands of state and local leaders signed a declaration saying that, quote, "We Are Still In."

Suzanne Potter/Shaine Smith, Public News Service - AZ