NORMAN — Oklahoma is no stranger to extreme weather, but many say those extremes are even greater than before.
Norman resident and biologist Kathy Rand is convinced those climate irregularities are a result of climate change caused by pollution, especially CO2 emissions.
Rand was one of several Norman residents who rallied at the State Capitol on Tuesday to raise awareness.
“Climate change is the most serious challenge that the world is likely to face in our lifetimes,” Rand said at the rally Tuesday. “We now have an opportunity and moral obligation to act and create the political will to shift from polluting energy to clean energy,”
Rand is co-leader of the Norman chapter of the Citizens Climate Lobby.
“You can’t just walk away from the atmosphere,” she said. “Our actions in the next few years will have a huge effect on ourselves and future generations. One of the problems with CO2 is that it stays in the atmosphere for roughly a thousand years.”
Hundreds of climate scientists around the world have documented climate change, Rand said, and yet much of the U.S. is still in denial about the problem. Rand has become passionate about waking people up to find solutions for future generations.
Rand has lived in Oklahoma since 1989 and in Norman since 2001. She and her husband came to the Sooner state from the University of Wisconsin. She has a Ph.D. in biology.
“When we moved to Oklahoma City, we both had offers at Oklahoma Medical Foundation,” she said.
It soon became clear that her son needed extra care, and she stepped out of the work force to focus on raising her family and two sons, who had some special needs.
“For the past 24 years, I was working very intensely to make sure they would make it when they grew up,” she said. “Now I’m able to rethink how I’m going to spend my time to make a difference.”