Today the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center hosted an event on the effects of climate change on national security. In collaboration with the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, former Sen. John Warner of Virginia and others made strong arguments for why we need to change not just our approach to the challenges of global warming but how it impacts us through developing nations.  

For Missourians, this event comes on the heels of a report by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs ‘Embracing the Future:The Midwest and a New National Energy Policy.’  The report outlines strengths, weaknesses and obstacles for Midwestern states to become players in the changing economics of environmental policy.  

Not only do green technologies present a chance to expand our workforce and diversify our economy, but Missouri represents a strong place to manage change through numerous industries.  St. Louis alone is one of the nations largest hubs of transportation and warehousing.  This represents a big opportunity to test the changes we need before bringing them to a national level.  

As the economy settles down we need to reevaluate public policies we used before the housing slump and redirect tax credits and loan programs to foster environmental change.  It’s not likely that old tax policies will have the same effect after recovery as they did before.  

For instance, if real estate prices remain low, will the state foster   as much redevelopment from the Historic Tax Credit program as before?  Should the money be shifted to green redevelopment.

All the while, we have to be pragmatic about the changes to come.  The changes we seek won’t come overnight.  Recent news reports of drought in the Middle-East even suggest it will get worse before it gets better.