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I’m a dad, science teacher, and Derby resident. Considering my son, my students and my city, one of my greatest concerns is sustainability. Each generation has encountered its challenges and risen to the occasion, but the bar is higher than ever now, and so are the stakes.

On my ride to work today, I listened to a podcast episode about “lost cities.” The main idea was, these ancient cities weren’t actually lost – they were abandoned. Places that archaeologists once assumed had been occupied until the bitter end by collapsing societies, we now know were actually left behind when conditions changed, and the people that had occupied them moved elsewhere and took their culture with them.

The hosts and their guest suggested that we should rethink what it means for a society in modern times to be permanent. If our culture, and our people, define us, then perhaps we should plan to be flexible, plastic, mobile; shifting any way the wind blows, and adapting our way of life as climate change brings harsher conditions to the areas we live in and affects the economy and comfort of each place in ways that may be surprising, changing costs and benefits with the greenhouse gas concentration in the air.

While I recognize that this may be reasonable and true – we may have to adapt our lifestyles, and yes, millions of Americans may have to move because of climate change – I am not “OK” with it. I love my way of life and my home. I like Derby and want to stay here the rest of my life. I want my son and my students to have bright futures – to run businesses and pursue hobbies; to enjoy the beauty of Earth, the serenity that one can find in nature, and the excitement, too; to lead the life they deserve.

It’s in our best interest to preserve the habitability of our home here, and I’m glad that even though there isn’t much cooperative bipartisanship to it, Congress is finally taking some action against climate change – an essential first step towards sustainability. I’m grateful that Wichita is moving in that direction, too, and hope that Derby will soon follow. Let’s care for the environment, because we live in it.

KYLE BEAUCHAMP

Derby, Kansas

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