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Amid climate change anxiety, Kansas City resident wants to make a difference | Opinion


Climate action

I appreciate the coverage of the United Nations climate change talks in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and the dire situation being reported. (Dec. 6, 2A, “Fossil fuel lobbyists show up in force at COP28”)

The reality of climate change sends me into downward spirals varying from hopelessness to crushing anxiety. Heated anger is also felt when I hear that nearly 2,500 fossil fuel representatives and lobbyists were at COP28. All I can do from my studio apartment in Kansas City (other than punch my pillow repeatedly) is strive for effective action in my community.

Luckily, there are ways KC residents can make a difference. The Mid-America Regional Council is working on its draft of the Climate Pollution Reduction Grant and is seeking public input. This grant funds decarbonization initiatives, particularly in low-income communities.


Missouri’s Department of Natural Resources is also applying for the grant, and it has made a survey for public comment at on its application. Missouri’s Sierra Club Chapter created a voter guide for this survey at

While fossil fuel interests infiltrate COP28, let’s create positive change right here at home.

- Briana Anderson, Kansas City

Gun safety

On Dec. 13, 2012, Sandy Hook was just a name for a Connecticut elementary school. The next day, everyone knew what Sandy Hook was: a tragic example of gun violence and a parent’s irresponsible ownership of an accessible deadly weapon.

Maybe the tide is turning, as noted in The Star. (Dec. 4, 7A, “Charge reckless parents when kids use their guns in shootings”) Gun-owning parents could minimize their chances of facing criminal charges simply by storing their weapons safely with gun locks.

The local nonprofit Grandparents for Gun Safety has distributed some 6,000 free gun locks the past six years at more than 200 community events. Despite Kansas City’s record number of gun deaths, we are certain gun locks have saved at least one life and prevented serious accidental injuries to others.

Twenty-six states have enacted laws requiring safe storage of firearms, according to Everytown for Gun Safety. Sadly, not so in Kansas or Missouri.

As Dec. 14 approaches and Sandy Hook is back in the news, imagine how different that day could have been if the AR-15 purchased by the shooter’s mother and used to kill 20 children and six adults had been locked.

- Judie Becker, Grandparents for Gun Safety, Leawood

Kissinger’s legacy

Henry Kissinger peddled his opinions and philosophies as Big Picture and long-term solutions. (Dec. 3, 14A, “Irony of Kissinger: a Nobel laureate accused of war crimes”) Many of his solutions to implement the Big Picture philosophy involved using human beings as cannon fodder. The problem with Kissinger’s solutions is they were hatched in his ego not in his mind.

I saw the results of his egocentric solutions on the Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall at 2 o’clock one morning in Blue Springs. The names of high school classmates and individuals from the town where I grew up were chiseled in the granite.

History is littered with Kissinger’s long-term solutions, and cemeteries are filled with their big-picture implementation.

- Paul G. Comerford, Blue Springs

Republican way

I’d like to thank Mike Souder for his Aug. 31 Star guest commentary, “My Republican Party once stood for our freedoms.” (10A) Why? Because he spoke clearly about his desire to see the GOP improve itself by ending its recent demands that everyone follow its leaders’ most extreme dictates about all issues. Obeying a Republican has turned into obeying God — quite a pretense.

After years of being fed up with the Republican Party, I now realize that I’m actually fed up with the radical voices within its ranks, but not with the basic, essential aspects of its principles.

Yes, Americans vary in their views and beliefs. But no, we are not enemies. So let’s work together more willingly, without hate. Let’s recognize the value of the GOP’s roots and ideals. Let’s behave with morals instead of avoiding them — or using our own to mandate others’ behavior. Souder noted that unfortunate tendency clearly, but without a regard of disgust or “I give up.”

Thanks for expressing what America recently has been, and still can become.

- Cathy Crist, Kansas City

Stench remains

On Jan. 6, 2021, a lot of serious party people had too much to drink of something that didn’t agree with their constitutions. As a result, they became intoxicated with an almost religious fervor and invaded the U. S Capitol, where they got sick all over everything and everybody, including themselves.

It might not have been quite as bad if they had cleaned up and changed clothes, but most did not. And to this day, they wear the aroma of insurrection like a badge of honor. To many of the rest of us, the smell is offensive.

I sometimes feel sorry for them, but they were enthusiastic about drinking from the Donald Trump-tainted punch bowl. So, not so much.

- Armand Way, Topeka

Royal risk

I keep seeing articles about Royals owner John Sherman wanting to build a new multibillion-dollar stadium to replace Kauffman Stadium. (Nov. 16, 1A, “Reality Check: Save Kauffman Stadium is rallying cry for some Royals fans”) Here is my concern: Voters could approve the funding to build a new stadium, and within a few years Sherman moves the Royals to another city.

Sherman was the founder of the Kansas City company Inergy but sold it to a Texas company in 2013. He sold his baby; what makes you think he won’t sell the Royals?

This is a slippery slope, Kansas City and Jackson County taxpayers. We could end up with a wildly expensive stadium without a team to put in it.

- Becky Wilson, Overland Park