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Public Citizen Embarks Wednesday on a Tour Across Texas to Spark a Conversation About Climate Change

Sept. 5, 2017

Public Citizen Embarks Wednesday on a Tour Across Texas to Spark a Conversation About Climate Change

AUSTIN, Texas — Public Citizen on Wednesday will launch its Climate Change Tour across Texas to talk about the impacts and solutions around manmade global warming in the state. 

The tour, which starts at 10:30 a.m. CT Wednesday from Austin’s City Hall, will be taken in an electric vehicle. Luis Castilla, press officer in Public Citizen’s Texas office, will visit 23 cities across Texas from early September to mid- October.

Castilla will engage with students, scientists, activists, elected officials and the general public to start a meaningful conversation around climate change and its solutions. The tour comes as tens of thousands of residents clean up from catastrophic flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey – the third such “500-year flood” to hit Texas in three years. Climate change increases the number of such devastating events.

Climate change will cost Texans billions of dollars every year in decreased productivity levels and increases in electricity costs and storm-related losses along the Gulf Coast.

However, there are many reasons to be hopeful: Wind and solar energy prices are less volatile than dirty fossil fuels, LED lights and efficient air conditioners can dramatically cut carbon emissions and help consumers save money, and electric automobiles soon will become cheaper to own than their oil-dependent counterparts.

Public Citizen’s Climate Change Tour will encourage people to engage with their elected officials to request that sustainable solutions be adopted at the city, state and federal levels. 

Austin’s Mayor Steve Adler; Jim Marston, clean energy vice president for the Environmental Defense Fund; Reggie James, Lone Star state director for the Sierra Club; University of Texas Professor Kerry Cook; Luis Castilla, press officer with Public Citizen’s Texas office; and Adrian Shelley, director of Public Citizen’s Texas office, will speak at the kickoff event, which will take place on the steps of Austin’s City Hall at 301 W 2nd St.

“Clearly, climate change poses a threat to Texas cities,” Adler said. “The stakes have never been higher, and cities must lead.”

“As Hurricane Harvey has clearly shown, climate change will affect us regardless of whether we believe in it or not,” said Shelley of Public Citizen. “We need to set our political differences aside and take decisive actions if we want our children and grandchildren to inherit a livable, sustainable Texas.”

“Our hearts go out to the millions of Texans impacted by Hurricane Harvey. Time and again, storms like Harvey show us that it’s reckless to ignore climate change and cut critical environmental protections, leaving us unprepared to protect people,” said EDF’s Jim Marston.

“From stronger storms to longer droughts and sea level rise, climate change will have a profound effect on every man, woman and child in Texas, disproportionately impacting the most vulnerable communities and people who do not have the resources to relocate,” said James of the Sierra Club. “We need to make the general public aware of the challenges ahead, so we can begin to tackle the problem collectively.”

“The window for action is closing rapidly,” added Castilla. “Business as usual is just not going to cut it.”

View a list of cities and dates for the tour.