David Warrender, local spokesperson for the Citizens’ Climate Lobby presented a program aimed at promoting behavior changes to reduce the consequences of climate change.
David Warrender, local spokesperson for the Citizens’ Climate Lobby presented a program aimed at promoting behavior changes to reduce the consequences of climate change.
Citizens Climate Lobby is a nonpartisan, private organization with over 300 local chapters throughout the United States and an additional 85-90 elsewhere in the world. Members work at the local level to educate their representatives and other community members about the consequences of global warming and to promote a meaningful way to minimize future warming and its consequences.
Locally, California has endured one of the costliest wildfire seasons in history, has suffered a three-year drought followed by a year of 200+% precipitation with flooding and destruction of infrastructure – dams, levees, roads and homes. Nationally, there has also been flooding in Louisiana leaving 140,000 families badly damaged homes, and North Carolina with $3 billion worth of damage from flooding following an unprecedented 17 inches of rain in 24 hours, and in Miami, where the city is having to employ massive pumps just to keep water from intruding into the commercial area during "King" tides which are aggravated by rising sea levels. The costs of global warming are truly of great significance.
This "climate chaos" is as a direct result of the increased energy in the system from the presence of rising temperature. All indicators point to this becoming more of a problem, rather than less, over the next decades. 97% of the scientists that have studied global warming agree that it is occurring and that the increased production of carbon dioxide is one of the major causes of this effect.
CCL proposes a carbon fee and dividend program that it is promoting to legislators on both sides of the aisle. A charge $100 per ton of carbon extracted from the earth would be levied. The funds raised would go to a dividend pool for redistribution to each household in America. Border adjustments for good produced outside of our country that had a significant carbon footprint, would also be levied to make up for their lesser cost. This proposal would probably increase the price of gasoline by approximately $1.00/gal. Dividend checks, from a fully implemented program, would be approximately $268 per month for each American household. These dividend checks could help pay for the increased cost of goods, especially gasoline or could be used to support other industries that do not require burning of fossil fuels (solar, wind-based power generation, and more efficient use of carbon -containing products when they were absolutely required).
Air pollution will be diminished. The environment would be helped in innumerable other ways with less toxins in the water supply. Individual's health would improve with a cleaner environment and less air pollution and the economy would be boosted with newly created jobs or expanded job opportunities in the non-fossil fuel dependent economy.
To achieve their goals the CCL follows three principles:
1.         Politicians don't create political will, they respond to it
2.         CCL will always show respect and genuine appreciation to all people and points of view relating to carbon and its impact on the environment.
3.         All proposals should be effective, simple, fair and transparent. (At the beginning of his presentation he showed a slide of the Four-Way Test of Rotary International).
We simply cannot continue to live with the consequences of neglect of meaningful action to slow global warming. A non-political and not-for-profit organization seems the best way to influence all our political leaders to act on our will.