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The Politics of Mother Nature

The climate is changing - should you?
6:00 PM 7:30 PM
The Community Event Center at Donnelly College

The Politics of Mother Nature

6:00 PM 7:30 PM
The Community Event Center at Donnelly College
Complex issues explored through probing questions and expert dialogue.

Climate change and human impacts on the environment continue to capture headlines with increasing urgency. Despite ongoing debates about whether we’re facing a climate challenge or crisis, major industries now feel pressure to ramp up their environmental protection efforts. Yet it remains unclear if consumers understand what it will cost to really make a difference. Has this urgency changed the behaviors of individuals OR corporations? Should it?

American Public Square at Jewell hosted a program that explores the implications of climate policy on business and industry, and the role consumers play in larger efforts to address environmental concerns.

The event was moderated by: Martin Rosenberg, energy and sustainability sector journalist and thought leader.

Distinguished panelists included:

    • Chuck Caisley, senior vice president of public affairs and chief customer officer – Evergy
    • Dominique Davison, founder – DRAW
    • James Taylor, president – The Heartland Institute

Program Materials

Access a full recording of the program below.

Expand section for Climate and Environment pieces, produced by the KC Media Collective.

This event is part of a series on climate change in the Kansas City region produced by the KC Media Collective, to support and enhance local journalism so every person in Kansas City can lead a richer life. Members of the KC Media Collective are KCUR 89.3, American Public Square, Kansas City PBS/Flatland, Missouri Business Alert, Startland News and The Kansas City Beacon.  Recent pieces from the Collective include:

April 7: KC Beacon: Here’s how residents along Troost Avenue can help measure Kansas City air quality

April 21:

April 22: KCUR: Local mayors sign on to Climate Action KC, realizing smaller metro cities like Smithville, Roeland Park and Mission can be “laboratories” for policies to counter climate change

April 24:  KCUR: Real Humans with Gina Kaufmann: Someone who has to use the bus system and the challenges/obstacles that presents. 

April 29:  MBA: How does your wallet cause you to act about the climate?

May 1:  KCUR: Real Humans with Gina Kaufmann: Someone who wants to use the bus system and why people aren’t choosing to use the bus.

May 5:  Flatland: No Mow May: A growing national movement is led by homeowners vowing to let their yards grow unclipped during May to provide habitat for bees, butterflies and other pollinators during a crucial time of the year. 

Program Panelists

Chuck Caisley is the senior vice president of public affairs, and chief customer officer at Evergy where he leads the energy solutions and public affairs areas with responsibility for the company’s small-scale generation projects, energy products and services platform, energy efficiency and demand response portfolio, community and customer strategy and communications, marketing, economic development, governmental affairs and public relations functions. He joined KCP&L in 2007.

Prior to joining KCP&L, he was president of the Missouri Energy Development Association, the trade association for Missouri’s investor-owned natural gas, water and electric utilities. In 2004, Mr. Caisley served as both the chief of staff and top political advisor to Missouri House Speaker Catherine Hanaway — the first woman Speaker of the Missouri House.

Actively involved in the community, Mr. Caisley serves as chairman of the board of directors of the Kansas City Area Development Council (KCADC). He also is the chairman of the Kansas City Zoo board of directors and a member of the Kansas City Missouri Environmental Protection Committee. In addition, Mr. Caisley currently serves as chairman of the board of directors for Missouri Employers Mutual, a workers’ compensation mutual insurance company located in Columbia, Mo.

He graduated with honors from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign with a Bachelor’s degree in political science. He has also earned a Juris Doctorate degree from St. Louis University School of Law and a Master of Business Administration from Washington University in St. Louis.

Dominique Davison AIA, NCARB, LEED BD+C established Davison Architecture + Urban Design (now DRAW) in 2005 to merge design, research, and environmental stewardship. DRAW staff are known as exceptional listeners and passionate advocates for under-served communities. Their design work and planning efforts forge a more vibrant future for clients and citizens. The award-winning practice has been recognized regionally by the Mid-America Regional Council as a leader in sustainability, and DRAW was named “Firm of the Year” by the American Institute of Architects Kansas City Chapter in 2014.

DRAW architecture + urban design has a long track record of facilitating successful public engagement to create real-world, practical, but beautiful solutions. 

Headquartered in the Crossroads Art District near downtown Kansas City, DRAW is committed to a concept identified as Positive Impact Design. This concept is defined by the community, environmental, and spatial impact, serving clients with empathy and bold action. By implementing proven methods of Positive Impact Design, DRAW staff applies their experience, technical expertise, and creativity toward award-winning designs.

Since 2013 Dominique Davison, DRAW’s Managing Principal and owner, has led the development efforts for PlanIT Impact. This web application allows architects, owners, and engineers to understand resource impacts at the earliest stages of the design process. Linking Machine Learning with a development’s location, PlanIT Impact provides visually immersive feedback related to water, energy, CO2, transportation, and potential ROI. DRAW uses this cutting-edge software tool to examine building plans and make improvements during the design process.

James Taylor is president of The Heartland Institute.

Taylor is also the former managing editor (2001-2014) of Environment & Climate News, a national monthly publication devoted to sound science and free-market environmentalism. For many years, he wrote a regular column for Forbes, which appeared on the magazine’s website.

Taylor has presented energy and environment analysis on CNN, CNN Headline News, Fox News Channel, Fox Business Channel, MSNBC, PBS News Hour, PBS Frontline, CBS Evening News, ABC World News, and other TV and radio outlets across the country. He has been published in virtually every major newspaper in the country.

He has been a featured presenter at conferences sponsored by such groups as the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), Council of State Governments, National Association of Counties, National Foundation of Women Legislators, State Policy Network (SPN), CPAC, Cato Institute, Heritage Foundation, and European Institute for Climate and Energy. Video of Taylor’s presentation at The Heartland Institute’s Eighth International Conference on Climate Change can be found here.

Taylor received his bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College where he studied atmospheric science and majored in government. He received his Juris Doctorate from Syracuse University.

Program Moderator

Martin Rosenberg is a recognized journalist and thought leader in the energy and sustainability sectors.

He currently hosts the Grid Talk podcast for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Voices of Experience initiative –

He has written extensively about energy, technology, finance and international business. His freelance work has appeared in the New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Seattle Times, Japan Times, Huffington Post and other publications.

He is the former Director of Content for Informa, where he launched Icons of Infrastructure, a news site covering the public-private sector, and the Energy Times.

He organized and chaired Informa’s Empowering Customers & Cities conference in Chicago in 2015, 2016 and 2017 and its Renewables Rush conference in San Francisco in 2016 and 2017.

He was editor-in-chief of EnergyBiz, a national publication covering the energy industry, for a decade. The magazine was recognized as the best publication covering the “energy/utilities/ engineering” sectors.

He was a business writer at the Kansas City Star, where he was named a Fulbright Fellow and received research support from the German Marshall Fund of the United States, and he worked for newspapers in Oregon.

Program Fact Checker and Roving Reporter


Jensen Adams is the energy and sustainability officer with the Kansas City Public Library and serves with the City of Kansas City, Missouri, Environmental Management Commission by mayoral appointment.

Jensen is a charter member of the American Library Association Council Committee on Sustainability, and active with the International Federation of Library Associations Section on Environment, Sustainability and Libraries.  He previously managed energy and sustainability efforts for the Kansas City Public Schools and was the associate executive director of the nonprofit Metropolitan Energy Center.


Madison Hopkins is the health care accountability reporter focused on the intersection of health policy and people. Her reporting is partially funded by Health Forward Foundation. She was previously an investigative reporter for the Better Government Association in Chicago. In 2022, her work was honored with the Pulitzer Prize for Local Reporting. Follow her on Twitter @_MJHopkins

Program Sponsors

With gratitude, we highlight our sponsors.

In Kind Sponsor


Donnelly College

Health Forward Foundation

William T. Kemper Foundation

Ogletree Deakins

Patterson Family Foundation


Seidler Family Foundation

John and Marny Sherman

William Jewell College

The Inn at Meadowbrook

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