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Show-Me State Skeptics: Convention Clouds Missouri Energy Advances

Josh Mogerman

Posted August 13, 2009

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The St. Louis Post-Dispatch noted that a "veritable who's who of climate change skeptics and contrarians" will be gathering at a convention in Springfield, MO today.

Speaking as a one-time resident of the Show-Me State, that news is disappointing enough---but the fact that this school of skeptics is being funded by a member of the Missouri Air Conservation Commission is even more of a drag. After all, that's the state's seven person panel overseeing air pollution permits and enforcement.

Apparently, the gathering "will highlight the fallacy of anthropogenic global warming proponents' apocalyptic dogma."

Assumedly, by proponents spewing dogma they mean... scientists?

Or, at least scientists not on the long-ago debunked list of 700 "dissenters" that one of the prominent skeptics flaunts in the P-D article... Ummm, that would be the vast and overwhelming majority of credible voices on this subject who agree that climate change is a problem.

Whatever. It's a free country they are free to gather and shout about the science until they are blue in the face. Clearly, they don't represent the majority of Missourians. But the noise from the skeptic convention and the likely invasion of "energy citizens" sent to disrupt public discussions of the climate bill do no favors to a state that has much to gain from America's shift to a clean energy economy.

In July, we published a report on Missouri's energy sector that made some interesting points. I was surprised by how perfectly poised the state is to be a "homegrown energy" leader. With energy-hungry St. Louis and Kansas City sandwiching big chunks of windy and fertile farmland, there seems to be the right mix to make something special happen in the Gateway to the West. But you wonder if they are poised to do anything about it with climate change deniers in leadership positions---that's not exactly the profile for folks likely to put the construct in place for wind, solar, and biomass industries to thrive.

Thankfully, those are not the folks we are talking to in Jefferson City, where NRDC has worked with policy makers to develop an energy future that can do right by Missouri's economy, energy needs, and the climate. And there has been encouraging news of late with the passage of a renewable energy standard and a renewed commitment by electric utilities to implement cost-effective energy efficiency.

The New York Times Green Inc blog reported today that Missouri's wind power supply grew far more quickly than that of any other state in the second quarter of this year. I hope we continue to hear more about these advances rather than the advocates of ambiguity who are working hard to make us all step backwards.


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