Town hall meeting

Climate change has gotten a fair share of attention at the “town halls” members of Congress have held in and around their home districts during their recesses.

In this month’s “This is Not Cool” video, independent videographer Peter Sinclair of Midland, Mich., captures scenes from town halls held across the U.S. Most of the sharp questioning, not surprisingly, is aimed at Republicans, whose party has been strongly resistant to addressing climate change challenges.

Climate change – with a push from the activist “indivisible” effort leading resistance to various Trump administration initiatives – is being raised along with health care, taxes, and concerns in some quarters about possible Trump campaign involvement with Russia, Sinclair reports. He says that when his own representative, Republican John Moolenaar in Michigan’s Fourth Congressional District, held a town hall, he, Sinclair, “had to give it a shot.”

Sinclair expressed concerns that Moolenaar was disregarding a strong scientific consensus that Earth is warming substantially because of human emissions. He asked how support for more research on the subject can be reconciled with administration proposals for deep cuts in federal research funding. Moolenaar’s somewhat rambling answer was greeted by some in the audience with smirks and with shouts that he “answer the question.”

The six-minute video shows audiences in different town hall meetings critically questioning the members of Congress, sometimes chanting “climate change is real.”

Bud Ward

Bud Ward is Editor of Yale Climate Connections. He started his environmental journalism career in 1974. He later served as Assistant Director of the U.S. Congress's National Commission on Air Quality,...