Sioux Falls community member holds national presentations on climate change

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KSFY) - A group of people met in Sioux Falls who are concerned about the effects of climate change worldwide and precisely what is happening right here at home.

The discussion was sponsored by a group called "The Climate Reality Project." The project has the backing of former vice-president Al Gore.

This Sioux Falls meeting was just one of 1,600 such meetings being held worldwide.

Jeff Smith attended leadership training for the project in Minneapolis, MN. He brought his knowledge to downtown Sioux Falls at the El Riad Shrine about what he calls a climate change crisis. And he says his reason for being involved is personal.

"I've got a four-year-old granddaughter now, and she thinks I should be doing something," he said. "She doesn't say so, of course, but clearly, they expect you to take care of them."

Smith lives in the city and says he wants to share the things he learned with anyone who listens.

"Hopefully, some enlightenment on the crisis and it is a crisis," he said. "We will run through some slides proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that climate change is real."

According, The Climate Reality Project, Earth's temperature is on pace to rise by four degrees celsius by 2100 and that to avoid the worst effects, that increase must be kept below two degrees.

Right now, according to the project, carbon pollution and burning fossil fuels like coal, oil, and natural gas are changing our climate and warming the planet.

Arthur Hovey says he pays attention to climate change but says this presentation made apparent how big the problem is.

"I'm a grandparent," Hovey said. "It's become the most important thing in my life. And when I look ahead and look at what's there for our grandchildren, and what we've got to pay attention to. This has to be solved."

He says every year we have unusual problems with precipitation that in his lifetime he never saw happen before.

According to the project, 97% of scientists are saying global warming exists.

"For anybody to call that fake news, in my opinion, is beneath contempt," Hovey said.

Smith says there are ways to help the planet, by unplugging unused appliances, walking instead of driving, and to speak to your lawmakers about this issue.

Another presentation will be held on Nov. 21st at Augustana University Science Center, room 113B.