Posted on Sep 23, 2019
Pictured L-R: Steven Utroska, Chris Werle, Anna Grace Gibson, and Freddy Walter.
President Steven Utroska presided over today’s meeting.
Sean Priebe provided today’s invocation and Mike Ratliff led us in the Pledge of Allegiance. Joe Bost served as our greeter today.
Mike McPhail and thanked those who volunteered to help with today’s meeting. He also introduced today’s visitors and visiting Rotarians. Carolyn and Keith Horn are visiting from the Ellisville club. Kevin Powell is a guest of Chris Dunkley. Mims McLennon is a guest of Colby Sappington.
Steven reminded members to sign up for the Meals on Wheel program.
Freddy Walter than introduced Anna Grace Gibson. She is one of the two RYLA scholarship recipients our club sponsored this summer. Her dad, Scott Gibson attended with her. Anna Grace says the RYLA experience was a life-changing event for her. She was impressed with the leadership, group activities and the opportunity to work with people her own age to seek ways they can improve their communities. She thanked club members for the opportunity and noted that she thinks the experience made her a better “me.”
Richard Topp then introduced today’s guest speaker, Chris Werle. Chris has a Ph.D. in Horticulture/Entomology and works as an Entomologist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. He is also involved in the Citizens Climate Lobby. His topic today is about climate science.
Chris says that climate science has now reached the Gold Standard. That means that science has been proven to be at least 99% accurate. That science predicts that sea levels will rise by two meters by the end of this century. Eighty percent of the Bahamas are at one meter above sea level. The Bahamas were recently devastated by Hurricane Dorian, a very powerful storm.
He used Rotarian values to demonstrate the effects of climate change. Is it fair? Chris says the fastest growing and wealthiest economies are creating an increase in CO2 emissions causing issues for the poorest on our planet. Will it promote goodwill? Rising sea levels, droughts, and flooding are and will continue to cause climate refugees. He noted that the Department of Defense is very concerned about climate change. All the naval bases are at sea level. They are trying to find ways to get their facilities to higher ground as sea levels rise.  Will it be beneficial to all? Chris says the agricultural impacts of climate change will increase. Migrating insects will be able to travel farther and have greater impacts on food sources. Droughts and floods will also cause significant impacts on our agricultural production. He suggests that we need to look beyond short-term planning and seek ways to make significant changes to the world’s CO2 emissions.
The Citizens Climate Lobby has bi-partisan legislation in both the U.S. House and Senate that seeks to begin the fight against climate change. The legislation, if passed, would place a tax on oil production at the well-head. Those tax dollars would then be distributed to every American citizen to help pay for the increased costs of fuel and food. He says the legislation has good support in Congress because it is revenue neutral and it is not regulatory. He predicts that if the legislation is passed it will create two million new jobs and will begin to reduce emissions within four years.
You can learn more about the Citizens Climate Lobby by visiting their website at   
Steven thanked those who attended today and then adjourned the meeting with our motto, Service Above Self.