To the editor:
The Lawrence/Douglas County League of Women Voters (LWV) commends the City Commission for ignoring calls from a national pressure group opposed to environmental sustainability (Journal-World, July 20). In particular, Jim Mullins, spokesperson for Americans For Prosperity, asked the commission to:
• defund our sustainability program
• fire its coordinator
• withdraw from an organization of local governments pledged to work for sustainability (the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives) and
• promise not to follow any recommendations resulting from a United Nations statement on sustainability (Agenda 21).
The LWV and many other local citizens helped put our sustainability program in place. We want it supported and expanded, not abolished.
Sustainability means leaving the world’s environment to our children in better shape than we found it. AFP says that’s a bad idea because it might violate someone’s property rights. The LWV is also concerned with protecting property rights. We are especially concerned about our rights to use our property and our bodies in a safe environment and not be subjected to pollution.
In addition, the AFP may have a hidden agenda in all this. The AFP was founded and funded by the Koch brothers of Wichita and by other petroleum interests, among the largest sources of carbon dioxide pollution worldwide. Combating climate change may not be their primary concern.
As all Kansans experience this summer’s record breaking temperatures, we thank the commissioners, city and county, for their continued support for environmental sustainability.