Climate change is prompting calls from an environmental advocate for better preparation on the local level. Rick Clewett, who spent almost 40 years teaching English at Eastern Kentucky University, now works with the Sierra Club and the Kentucky Conservation Committee.
Clewett says climate change will be especially hard on homeless and low-income Kentuckians.
“That’s gonna be all the more true down the road because when you get extreme weather events and the things which are in the pipeline, it’s going to exacerbate the current problems. It’s gonna make the problems you already have, many of them worse and more complicated,” said Clewett.
Clewett is meeting with state and local officials around the region. In Lexington, he hopes to convince council members to sign the `Resilient Communities for America Agreement.’ It’s a pledge by local leaders to better prepare their communities for extreme weather and economic challenges.
Clewett worries too few communities are ready for the long-term effects of disastrous weather.
“This is not how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions…this is how to try to avoid unnecessary suffering from the greenhouse gas emissions we’ve been releasing over the past decades,” added Clewett.
Clewett says more can be done to prepare the economy, and to improve the response of health and social service agencies.