Climate Conversation with …

  • Brigadier General, Wendell Chris King
  • Green Party U.S. Presidential Candidate, Howie Hawkins
  • President of the Vote Climate U.S. PAC, Karyn Strickler
  • Leader of Citizens Climate Lobby KC, Stephen Melton
  • Author and former DNC member, Winston Apple
Join these experts for an informal conversation about today’s most important climate issues.


Dr. Chris King is a retired Brigadier General with over 32 years of active service in the United States Army. His military service included assignments in Europe, Southwest Asia, Africa, South America, and Afghanistan. His last military assignment was as Professor and Head of the Department of Geography and Environmental Engineering at the United States Military Academy. From 2006 until 2016 Dr. King served as Dean of the US Army Command and General Staff College at Ft. Leavenworth, our Nation’s premier graduate military studies college. He represents the US on an international military advisory council dealing with security and climate change. He is an authority on the impact that climate change, water scarcity, and other related environmental issues will have on National Security and international stability. Dr. King holds a Ph.D. in environmental engineering, a master’s degree in strategic security studies, and a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering. He is a licensed professional engineer and life member of the American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists.

Dr. King has published 2 books and authored more than a dozen book chapters. His recent works include an analysis of the defense implications of climate change published by Cambridge University, a presentation in Vienna at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and an analysis of the security implications of water as a scarce resource presented at Oxford University. Dr. King has been an invited speaker at local, national, and international forums discussing environmental security and climate change.

Howie Hawkins is a retired Teamster warehouse worker who has been active in movements for civil rights, peace, ecology, and labor since the late 1960s. He was a co-founder of the anti-nuclear/safe-energy Clamshell Alliance in 1976 and the US Green Party in 1984. In 2010, he was the first US candidate to call for a Green New Deal while running for Governor of New York. In 2020, he was the Green Party candidate for President.

Karyn Strickler is the Founder and President of Vote Climate U.S. PAC. She has executive-level experience leading successful statewide and national issue advocacy, congressional, U.S. Senate and ballot measure campaigns.

Karyn conceptualized, initiated, led research and development of Vote Climate U.S. PAC’s first-of-its-kind Voter’s Guide starting in 2018. Each election, our unique tool gives climate calculations to every incumbent and challenger for the U.S. House and U.S. Senate, allowing voters to choose climate action. Every 4 years, starting in 2020 we rate candidates for the U.S. Presidency. Between elections, our Congress Climate Scorecard helps reporters, leaders, activists, organizers, and regular citizens hold lawmakers accountable on climate change. Just like our Voter’s Guides, it provides detailed information on position, leadership, votes and support for a fee on carbon pollution on every incumbent in the U.S. House and U.S. Senate.In 2021, Vote Climate U.S. PAC issued its first Gubernatorial Voters Guide. Our 2021 Governor Elections include only New Jersey and Virginia, with the remaining elections taking place in 2022.

Under Karyn’s leadership as executive director, MD NARAL made history passing legislation to put the principles of Roe vs. Wade onto Maryland’s law books. “Abortion Politics in American States,” calls Karyn a “gifted grassroots organizer.” As executive director of the MD NARAL PAC, Karyn won 100% of targeted state senate races in Maryland creating a pro-choice, supermajority.

Karyn was the executive director of the national Endangered Species Coalition. She hosted and produced the first and only TV show dedicated exclusively to climate change, called “Climate Challenge.” She worked in Botswana Africa to train women in the campaign skills necessary to run for public office, doubling the number of women in Parliament in a single election cycle. She is an international lecturer and trainer on grassroots organizing and fundraising for the United States Department of State. Karyn was the finance director for Congressman Chris Van Hollen’s (MD-8) breakthrough race in 2002, raising an historic amount of money.

Karyn earned her BA in Political Science at McDaniel College, where she was a member of Pi Gamma Mu, an international social science honor society. She is a Chesapeakeman, Ironman triathlon, age-group champion with 140.6 total miles of swimming, biking and running. She is also a competitive CrossFitter.

Stephen Melton served as a U.S. Army officer until his retirement from active duty in 2004. For the next twelve years, he taught at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College (CGSC) at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, where, among other pursuits, he instructed graduate seminars on the causes and impacts of global warming. He began volunteering with Citizens’ Climate Lobby in the Spring of 2017 and is now the Co-Leader of the Kansas City chapter. He currently lives with his wife, Susan, in Parkville, Missouri.

Winston Apple is a former member of the Democratic National Committee and the State Committee of the Missouri Democratic Party. He is a singer-songwriter who has recorded 18 albums. He is a retired teacher who taught government and economics in the Kansas City, Missouri school district. He has a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction and is the author of Edutopia: A Manifesto for the Reform of Public Education. He is in the process of finishing a second book, Government by the People: A Citizen’s Guide to Making America a Perfect Democracy.

The event is finished.