Our Leaders Letter is designed to help build political will for action on climate change in Michigan by showing the many influential people, businesses, communities and community leaders, and organizations that want our decision makers to work with urgency on solutions to climate change. We modeled this after a letter that was very useful in building support for climate action among Florida Members of Congress, and are doing this outreach effort in collaboration with Citizens Climate Lobby. 

If you are a Leader, Please Sign this Letter

We are inviting business and community leaders to join an elite group of influential people who represent forward-thinking and dynamic constituencies to help us influence our legislators.

Other distinguished signers include Jim MacInnes, President, and CEO of Crystal Mountain resort; Bob Sutherland, President and Owner of Cherry Republic; and the Mayors of the City of Traverse City and the City of Ann Arbor. See the current list of signers below.

Once a significant number of signatures are collected, we will present the letter to Michigan Members of Congress and state lawmakers.

We invite business and community leaders to sign on, and then share the letter with other leaders who want to see action to address climate change! Click here to sign

Michigan Leaders’ Letter to Congress and State Lawmakers

To: Michigan Delegation in the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate, Michigan Governor, Michigan Legislature, and Michigan Attorney General

RE: Open Letter Requesting Action to Address Climate Impacts

Dear Michigan Congressional Delegation and State Lawmakers,

We believe it is time for Michigan's elected leaders to acknowledge that escalating climate impacts pose a serious threat to our state’s economic stability and the health and safety of its citizens. Current efforts to mitigate a change in climate are insufficient to avoid major negative consequences. Therefore, we request that you support solutions to protect the interests of all the people and businesses of Michigan from this threat. Please consider:

  1.  Ninety-seven percent of climate scientists are convinced, based upon the evidence, that human actions have warmed the atmosphere and oceans causing our climate to change.
  2.  Michigan is already experiencing climate change impacts, and they are expected to worsen in the next several decades. According to the 2014 National Climate Assessment Report, climate impacts in Michigan include increased heat wave intensity and frequency, more extreme rainfall events and flooding, and changes to our forests and certain fish species. These combined stresses are leading to detrimental effects like crop failures and decreased agricultural productivity; increased invasive species, reduced ice cover, and more toxic blooms of algae in the Great Lakes; and sewage overflows that contaminate our waterways and put increased stress on aging infrastructure in our cities.
  3.  A 2015 joint report by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and University of Michigan scientists found that current and predicted future impacts of climate change are detrimental to the health of Michigan citizens, especially children, and senior citizens. The report documents increases in respiratory illnesses, vector-borne diseases like West Nile Virus, and water-related diseases in certain areas from sewage and septic failures and toxic algae blooms.
  4.  Climate impacts are disproportionately impacting the health, safety and economic stability of low-income and minority communities. People with lower incomes living in urban areas are especially at risk from exposure to extreme heat and are less equipped to recover from extreme weather events that damage their homes and property. A warming climate intensifies allergies, asthma, and other respiratory problems from air pollution, sources of which are often located near low-income, minority communities.
  5.  Businesses of all sizes and from all sectors face serious economic risks because of climate change. Disruptions to supply chains, increasing insurance premiums, escalating energy costs and lost productivity due to power outages are all concerns. Additional public sector expenditures on hardening our infrastructure will be borne in large part by businesses due to weather disasters.
  6.  Action on climate has co-benefits including reduced air and water pollution and improved public health.
  7.  The U.S. Department of Defense recognizes climate change as a threat multiplier in unstable regions in the world.
  8.  There are effective response options for Congress and State leaders to consider, which can be economically prudent, politically viable, and scientifically sound. Such options could substantially lessen future impacts.
  9.  Michigan is well positioned to benefit economically, including more jobs, from action to reduce emissions while remaining a leader in technological solutions such as our growing solar and wind industries.
  10.  Businesses will benefit from greater certainty regarding policies to address this problem.
  11.  The longer we wait to act on climate, the greater, and more irreversible, will be the harm done.
  12.  The world’s major faith groups and religious leaders have all made powerful statements saying that climate change is real and that we have a moral responsibility to take action to correct it.

In light of the above, we urge you to support meaningful discussions and actions on climate that lead to reducing emissions of greenhouse gasses. The United States and Michigan must lead in solutions to this global problem that affects all of us.

Please click here to add your information and signature.
For questions regarding this letter and this initiative, please contact us.


Leaders Letter Signatures


  • Juan Olivarez, PhD, President, Aquinas College
  • E. Binney Girdler, PhD, Chair, Department of Biology; Co-Director, Environmental Studies Program; Director, Lillian Anderson Arboretum, Kalamazoo College
  • Kathleen Halvorsen, Professor of Natural Resource Policy, Keweenaw Climate Community
  • Dr. Stephen Hamilton, Professor, Michigan State University
  • Sarah Nicholls, PhD, Associate Professor, Michigan State University
  • Dr. Julie Doll, Specialist, Kellogg Biological Station and Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences, Michigan State University
  • Dr. Michael L Jones, PhD, Peter A Larkin Professor of Quantitative Fisheries, MSU Director, Quantitative Fisheries Center, Michigan State University
  • Alex Mayer, Charles and Patricia Nelson Presidential Professor, Michigan Technological University
  • James E. Crowfoot, PhD, Professor Emeritus and Dean Emeritus, School of Natural Resources & Environment, University of Michigan
  • Ivette Perfecto, George W. Pack Professor of Natural Resources and Environment, School of Natural Resources and Environment, University of Michigan
  • Michael J Wiley, M.S.,PhD, Professor of Aquatic Ecology, SNRE, University of Michigan
  • Kathleen Potempa PhD, RN, FAAN, Professor, University of Michigan
  • Dr. Joseph Arvai, Max McGraw Professor of Global Sustainable Enterprise and Director, Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise, University of Michigan
  • Mark D. Hunter, PhD, Henry A. Gleason Collegiate Professor of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, University of Michigan
  • George W. Kling, Professor, University of Michigan
  • James S. Diana, PhD, Professor of Fisheries and Aquaculture, University of Michigan
  • Dr. Alexey Kondrashov, Professor, University of Michigan
  • Alison Swan, MFA, Faculty Specialist in the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, Western Michigan University
  • Dr. David Karowe, PhD, Professor of Biological Sciences, Western Michigan University


  • Skip Pruss, Principal, 5 Lakes Energy
  • Jamie Scripps, Principal, 5 Lakes Energy
  • G. Tim Neyer, Corporate Environmental Management System Coordinator, American Mitsuba Corporation
  • David M. Stevens, Senior Vice President, American Mitsuba Corporation
  • Gary Bardenhagen, Fruit Grower, Bardenhagen Berries
  • Kris Spalding, Sustainability Director, Owner, Brewery Vivant
  • Bob Sutherland, President, Cherry Republic
  • Jim MacInnes, President, Crystal Mountain Resort
  • Kathleen Young, Partner, Food For Thought, Inc.
  • Dr. Mick DeGraeve, Founder and Director, Great Lakes Environmental Center
  • Dennis McCauley, President and Principal Research Scientist, Great Lakes Environmental Center, Inc.
  • Robin A. Silva-Wilkinson, Vice President, Senior Research Scientist, Program Manager for EPA Contract EP-C-12-057 Implementation of the Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR), Chemistry Laboratory Director, Great Lakes Environmental Center, Inc.
  • Phil Roos, CEO, Great Lakes GrowthWorks
  • Edward Ficaro, PhD, President, INVIA
  • Larry Mawby, Owner/Winegrower, L. Mawby Vineyards
  • Peter Tchoryk, Jr., CEO, Michigan Aerospace Corporation
  • Stephen Nance, General Manager, Oryana Community Cooperative
  • Rob Hansen, Pathfinder Head of School
  • Robert L. Holdeman, LLC, Architect
  • William Stough, President, Sustainable Research Group


  • Rev. Dale Ostema, Rev., Central United Methodist Church, Traverse City, MI
  • Sister Mary Brigid Clingman, OP, Dominican Sisters - Grand Rapids, Care of Creation Committee
  • The Rev. Craig Satterlee, Bishop, North/West Lower Michigan Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church of America
  • Karen M. Donahue, RSM, Justice Coordinator, Sisters of Mercy West Midwest Community
  • Rev. Dr. Donald P. Kreiss, Bishop, Southeast Michigan Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church of America
  • Rev. Dr. Kenneth W. Phifer, Retired Unitarian Universalist Minister


  • Sabra Briere, City Council Member, Ann Arbor
  • Julie Grand, City Council Member, Ward 3, Ann Arbor City Council
  • Chuck Warpehoski, Counselor, Ann Arbor City Council
  • Zachary Ackerman, City Council Member, Ward 3, City of Ann Arbor
  • Christopher Taylor, Mayor, City of Ann Arbor
  • Chip Smith, AICP, City Councilmember, Ward 5, Member Ann Arbor Environmental Commission, Ann Arbor Member Energy Commission, City of Ann Arbor
  • Matthew Naud, Environmental Coordinator, City of Ann Arbor
  • Mary Sheffield, City Council Member, City of Detroit
  • Rosalynn Bliss, Mayor, City of Grand Rapids
  • Kathleen Ling, Mayor, City of Mt Pleasant
  • Gary Howe, City Commissioner, City of Traverse City
  • Timothy M. Werner PhD, City Commissioner, City of Traverse City
  • Jim Carruthers, Mayor, City of Traverse City
  • George K. Heartwell, Former Mayor, Grand Rapids, MI
  • John Austin, President, Michigan State Board of Education
  • C. Farmer MD, Former Mayor of Ypsilanti, Physicians for the Prevention of Gun Violence
  • Andy LaBarre, Commissioner, Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners
  • Yousef Rabhi, Commissioner, Washtenaw County Commission
  • Michelle Deatrick, Commissioner-Elect, District 2, Washtenaw County
  • David Ling, Vice-Chair, Isabella County Commission
  • Shannon Skyes, City Commissioner, City of Kalamazoo


  • M L Pakieser MSN, RN ,BC-FNP, President, American Nurses Association - Michigan
  • David Keren, MD, Professor of Pathology, Department of Pathology, The University of Michigan
  • Yvonne Hunter, MD, Pathologist at Munson Health Care and Partner of Grand Traverse Pathology, PLLC, Grand Traverse Pathology
  • Carly Tarr, Emergency medicine physician, Henry Ford Health System
  • Todd Wilson MD, Physician, Retired, Munson Healthcare System
  • Kurt Sanford MD, Munson Medical Center
  • David S McGreaham, MD, Physician, Munson Medical Center
  • Elizabeth Del Buono, MD, Physician, Attending Surgical Pathologist, Munson Medical Center
  • William A. Kanner, MD, Former Fulbright Scholar, Physician, Surgical Pathologist, Munson Medical Center
  • Deborah Crowe MD, Physician, retired, Munson Medical Center
  • Sarah Campbell MD
  • Stan Smith, MD, President, Northern Michigan Medical Society
  • Julie M. Jorns, MD, Assistant Professor of Pathology, University of Michigan
  • Jonathan McHugh, MD, Associate Professor of Pathology, University of Michigan Health System
  • David R. Lucas, MD, Director of Anatomic Pathology, University of Michigan Health System


  • Harry Burkholder, Executive Director, LIAA
  • Douglas D McInnis, President, Northport Energy Action Taskforce, Inc.
  • Terry Link, Peace Education Center


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