Code Red for Humanity
On August 6, 2021 the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued its most recent climate assessment report. Its findings were dire. Humanity has a short window of time to prevent climate catastrophe that could change life on this planet as we know it. Scientists claim that if we don't slash emissions now, we could reach the 1.5 degree C warming threshold scientists say is necessary for preventing the worst climate impacts within the next two decades.
But there remains hope. If we, as a global community act now, we can preserve our climate and a habitable planet. With immediate, ambitious emissions cuts, we can the world keep global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees C. But under a high-emissions scenario, the IPCC finds the world may warm by 4.4 degrees C by 2100 — with catastrophic results.
Bringing It Home to Illinois
The Prairie State coal plant has recently been thrust into the middle of state and national conversations about decarbonizing our power sector. The plant, a 1,766 megawatt behemoth located just 36 miles southeast of St Louis, is the largest coal-fired power plant and the largest emitter of carbon dioxide in Illinois. It is the 7th larges emitter of carbon dioxide in the country, and responsible for 76 premature deaths every year. It needs to close.
On August 16, just one after the release of the IPCC report, Eco-Justice Collaborative, Faith in Place Action Fund, the Prairie Group, Sierra Club, and Prairie Rivers Network, co-organized a press conference and rally urging State Senator Scott Bennett to support an equitable clean energy and climate bill. At the end of the rally, those present taped personalized "While You Were Out" pink slips to his office door, urging the Senator to respond to our changing climate by voting for a bill that closes the Prairie State coal plant in southwestern Illinois.
Whether we limit warming to prevent the most severe climate impacts depends on actions taken now. If you live in Senator Bennett's District, please call him at his Champaign office: 217.335.5252, or send him a letter today. You can find out if you live in his District here.