The consequences and solutions for climate disruption in Missouri will be the topic of a panel discussion at East Central College Thursday, April 17.

The free event will begin at 7 p.m. in the Training Center on the ECC campus in Union.

Four panelists with diverse backgrounds will speak. A facilitator-moderated open forum will follow the presentation.

Larry Lazar, a businessman and organizer of Climate Reality-St. Louis, will lead the panel.

“I developed an interest in global warming and climate change in 2005,” said Lazar. “I’ve since become addicted to the topic and have spent hundreds of hours learning about climate change and its potential implications on society. I just can’t seem to get enough information and discussion about climate change.”

Lazar said that with events such as the one at ECC, he hopes to build a network with others who share his interest in climate change and the desire to protect the climate for our future.

“Climate change is already disrupting the lives of Missouri citizens, costing billions in damages, harming our economy and putting our state’s vital natural resources at risk — with potentially catastrophic results in the decades ahead if we don’t get to work on solving the climate crisis,” Lazar noted.

“We can put Missourians to work now on implementing commonsense solutions that will benefit our economy and generate jobs. Market-based clean energy technologies present a real opportunity to reduce fossil fuel dependency and make Missouri and America cleaner, safer and stronger,” he added.

Also joining in the discussion will be Dr. Johann Bruhn, professor emeritus at the University of Missouri Center for Agroforestry and Brian Ettling, a seasonal park ranger at Crater Lake National Park.

Ettling is co-founder of Climate Reality-St. Louis and is a leader of the St. Louis Citizens Climate Lobby. Rounding out the panel is writer and filmmaker Corinne McAfee.

She will discuss how solving climate change can create jobs in Missouri.

Lazar encourages residents of Franklin County and the surrounding area to attend and learn how Missouri can step up and show the country how to make an impact on climate change.

The event is sponsored by ECC’s green committee and is scheduled to conclude by 9 p.m.