Leg with Louie – May 25

The Legislative Session is over – though I am compelled to keep Blogging on a while.

We often, at the Alaska Center, discuss the importance of citizen activism in achieving social and political change. We also believe the next step, after achieving a change, is tenacious involvement in the process that follows. Public comment opportunities are not often as exciting as the passage of a bill, or the election of a candidate but they are still critical.

Public comment is open on the Walker Administration’s draft Climate Action Plan until June 4th. This is an opportunity to stay involved in the most pressing issue to face human kind perhaps ever, and you should participate. Today.

I know you are busy with gardening, fishing, preparation for the season ahead, jogging, the internet, bike riding, swimming, eating french fries, skipping rocks, looking at nifty sights etc. Yet, if you – I am talking to you – don’t participate in this proposed solution to climate change, the world as you know it will melt, dry up, burn, flood, and change fundamentally. It is a hefty charge for a normal old Friday, but I suggest, strongly, that you take a few moments to participate in the Climate Action Leadership Team discussion, so that Alaska does not melt, burn, dry up, flood, and release strains of deadly viruses and bacteria trapped in the permafrost.

Through your direct grasstops and grassroots lobbying, you were integral in persuading Governor Bill Walker and Lt. Governor Byron Mallott to establish a climate coordinator position and to adopt Administrative Order 289 which establishes climate and clean energy directives for each department in the state, and creates a Climate Action Leadership Team composed of multiple stakeholder groups. Great Job! Now keep at it.

The Climate Action Leadership Team is working hard to achieve the mandate in AO 289. They have drafted a plan with some good recommendations, and some vague recommendations, and some wishy-washy language kowtowing to the oil industry. The Climate Action Leadership Team took public testimony at a meeting in Fairbanks last month – and were impressed by the number of testifiers who requested that the Team take bold action. It is important that you continue to impress upon the team that their charge is to lead, and to take bold action and to craft a plan with strong, clear, and immediately actionable recommendations for the Governor.

Please review the draft plan, and submit your thoughts and goals to the Climate Action Leadership Team. Thank you for doing this. I thank you, the future thanks you, the wolves and bears and salmon and ravens and trees and lichen and seastars and hooligan and the marmots – they all thank you for sending that email and doing your part to slow the man-made catastrophe of C02 pollution we have collectively brought upon the world.

-Louie Flora, Government Affairs Director.

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