Marin CCL Newsletter
July 23, 2022
If images don't appear,

Well, we care deeply, and given the Supreme Court's misguided EPA decision, the collapse of President Biden's climate efforts and recent apocalyptic global climate disasters, many activists are wondering what to do now --besides voting. If you aren't sufficiently upset, listen to this analysis, then plan to attend.

Marin CCL invites you to hear
Dr. Michael Mann
and Congressman Jared Huffman

Tuesday, August 30, 6 PM
Book Passage
51 Tamal Vista, Corte Madera

Free and open to the public. Get there early. Mask up.

"The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was getting progressives to oppose carbon pricing."
-- Tweet from Dr. Mann, 4/11/20

Since the 1999 publication of the "Hockey Stick" graph showing rapid late 20th century warming, Dr. Mann has been mercilessly attacked by the forces who still don't like his message. He has courageously fought back -- and won.

In his latest book, Dr. Mann explains how fossil fuel companies have waged a thirty-year campaign to deflect blame and delay action on climate change and offers a battle plan for how we can save the planet. (See below for the PBS Frontline series on how they did it.)

In The New Climate War, Dr. Mann argues that all is not lost. Drawing the battle lines between people and the polluters -- fossil fuel companies, right-wing plutocrats and petrostates, he outlines a plan for forcing our governments and corporations to wake up and make real change, including:
  • A common-sense, attainable approach to carbon pricing and a revision of the well-intentioned but flawed Green New Deal;
  • Allowing renewable energy to compete fairly against fossil fuels
  • Debunking the false narratives and arguments that have driven a wedge between even those who support climate change solutions
  • Combatting climate doomism and despair

CCL members are invited to show their appreciation for Dr. Mann by attending and considering purchasing his book from our great local book store:

Michael E. Mann is Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Science at Penn State University. He has received many honors and awards and in 2020 was elected to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. He is the author of Dire Predictions: Understanding Climate Change; The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: Dispatches from the Front Lines, and The Madhouse Effect: How Climate Change Denial is Threatening our PlanetDestroying Our Politics, and Driving Us Crazy.

Jared Huffman has very ably represented California's 2nd congressional district since 2013. A strong environmental leader, he's a member of the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis and chairs the subcommittee on Water, Oceans and Wildlife, among other committee assignments.

The Court vs. the Climate
The Supreme Court seems unconcerned with climate change.
--David Leonhardt

The Supreme Court has made it harder for the country to fight the ravages of climate change.

In a 6-to-3 decision, the court limited the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to prevent power plants from releasing climate-warming pollution. The court ruled that Congress had not given the agency the authority to issue the broad regulations that many climate experts believe could make a major difference — the kind of regulations that many Biden administration officials would have liked to implement.

This piece will walk you through what the decision means — and also clarify what it does not mean. The bottom line is that the ruling is significant, but it does not eliminate the Biden administration’s ability to reduce greenhouse gas pollution.

The court's decision throws the problem squarely back into Congress' lap, since their job is to levy taxes, such as the carbon tax proposed in The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act. Haven't we tried just about everything else?

Despite Supreme Court ruling, states and EPA can still regulate greenhouse gases
Michael B. Gerrard, CCL advisory board member,
professor of environmental and energy law at Columbia Law School; director, Sabin Center for Climate Change Law; co-editor, “Legal Pathways to Deep Decarbonization in the United States

"Last month's decision by the Supreme Court striking down the Clean Power Plan is a blow to the fight against climate change, but it’s not a total knockout. Other existing laws protecting the environment are untouched by the decision in West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency. The broad powers of state and local governments to set stringent environmental standards are similarly unaffected."

War and Warming Upend Global Energy Supplies and Amplify Suffering

Ever get the feeling that you're having that nightmare where danger is approaching and you can't move? This excellent analysis describes how stuck our civilization is in responding to global warming. Many interacting factors interfere with getting off the disastrous track we're tied to. Yet for all the complexities, it's impossible to imagine getting to safety as long as fossil fuels remain artificially "cheap." A straightforward carbon fee, dividend and border carbon duty would do much to unlock the cuffs.

"Deadly heat and Russia’s war in Ukraine are packing a brutal double punch, upending the global energy market and forcing some of the world’s largest economies into a desperate scramble to secure electricity for their citizens.

This week, Europe found itself in a nasty feedback loop as record temperatures sent electricity demand soaring but also forced sharp cuts in power from nuclear plants in the region because the extreme heat made it difficult to cool the reactors."

"Meanwhile, in the United States, history’s largest emitter of greenhouse gas emissions, extreme temperatures scorched swathes of the South and West as prospects of national climate legislation collapsed in the nation’s capital. At the same time, global oil companies reported soaring profits as oil and gas prices shot up.

In effect, the world’s ability to slow down climate change has not only been undermined by the producers of the very fossil fuels that are responsible for climate change, but further challenged by deadly heat — a telltale marker of climate change."


Setback from Manchin won’t deter advocates’ push to reach climate goals

July 15, 2022 – We are deeply disappointed at the news that the reconciliation package the Senate is considering will not contain any climate measures.

Citizens’ Climate Lobby volunteers worked tirelessly since last July to push for meaningful climate policies in the reconciliation package. We held 960 meetings with House and Senate offices, generated more than 48,000 calls, and sent more than 164,000 personal messages to Congress since the reconciliation process began in earnest in July 2021. That work helped bring Congress remarkably close to major climate action — within one vote. We will not stop pushing for our lawmakers to agree and act.

new report from Rhodium Group shows just how much action is still needed. President Biden pledged that America would reduce our emissions 50% by 2030, but the U.S. is on track to reduce emissions only 30% by that deadline. Without climate measures in reconciliation, the U.S. is missing the opportunity to lead the world in fighting climate change. 

This week, Canadians are receiving the first quarterly checks from their carbon fee and dividend policy. Next year, the EU’s carbon border adjustment mechanism begins. This news puts the U.S. further behind the curve, but it remains imperative that we act on climate to keep our businesses and manufacturing competitive, protect people’s health, and stabilize our climate. 

And to be clear, Congress’ failure thus far to take enough climate action does not lie only at the feet of Sen. Manchin. Half of the Senate — 50 Republicans — have yet to bring a conservative climate solution to the table that is equal to the scale of the problem. Citizens’ Climate Lobby will continue to apply grassroots pressure on both Democrats and Republicans in order to create a future where significant climate policy not only passes, but enjoys bipartisan support.

To that end, we will spend the next few months elevating climate as a central midterm election issue. Anyone running to represent Americans — whether in a red or blue district or state — should understand the scale of the climate threat and have robust, committed plans to address it. Our volunteers will press the issue in local media, at candidate town halls, and at their own events throughout the campaign season, with the goal of increasing every candidate’s climate ambition. A livable world depends on it.

Here's what Rep. Huffman had to say (WaPo):

“It is a gut punch but not a surprise. Anyone who understands who Mr. Manchin is, where he gets his wealth, what he actually cares about, can't really be surprised. It's nevertheless a huge blow to climate activists, to the majority of Americans who are demanding bold action on the most important existential issue of our time, and I hope they understand that this is one man. This is not the Democratic Party. This is one very corrupted, compromised man who was probably never going to be part of the solution, despite this tease that we've all been exposed to, on and off, for the better part of a year."
Sen. Padilla Urges Climate Emergency Declaration from President Biden

WASHINGTON, D.C. — As California continues to face longer, more intense wildfire seasons, an escalating drought, toxic air pollution and extreme heat waves, U.S. Senator Alex Padilla today joined Senators Jeff Merkley, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Sheldon Whitehouse, Brian Schatz, Cory Booker and Martin Heinrich in a letter to President Biden urging him to declare a climate emergency to unlock the powers of the National Emergency Act (NEA) and immediately pursue an array of regulatory and administrative actions to slash emissions, protect public health, support national and energy security, and improve our air and water quality.

French President Macron at ocean science conference preparing to fend off a shark attack
From our advisory board:
Turning the tide against climate change

Peter de Menocal, CCL advisory board member,
president and director of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

"Ocean science is taking a lead in determining whether we can and should pursue the options laid out in a recent report about what is known as “ocean-based carbon dioxide removal.

For much of human history, the ocean was viewed as a source of limitless bounty that we could tap at will, remote and unassailable by human action. Yet as humanity’s influence over the planet has grown, the ocean has come to be seen as a victim suffering from a long litany of our degrading activities.

But it is time to change our view of the ocean and see it for what it also is: a resource with the power to help blunt or even reverse the climate crisis. The ocean’s immense size and natural processes already have protected the planet by absorbing more than 90 percent of the heat generated by human-caused greenhouse gas emissions. It has also absorbed about one quarter of our carbon dioxide emissions.

Last month, I led a delegation from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution to Lisbon and the United Nations Ocean Conference, the highest-level international gathering of world leaders in government, science, advocacy, finance, and philanthropy focused on the ocean. What we heard in Lisbon was a clarion call to action: We must act now, and we must act decisively."

New! Nerd* Corner

*Nerd: (Noun, a complement) A person who is extremely enthusiastic and knowledgeable about a particular subject, especially one of niche interest.

The Latest:
"So it's perhaps the thinnest of silver linings that amidst a grotesque war, severe inflation and Joe Manchin dashing everyone's hopes and dreams that the US is on track to miss its Paris commitment by a bit less than was projected last year."

"Pity the poor intern at Guinness World Records trying to keep up with the news in an age of rapid global warming...[These deadly effects are] similar in magnitude to the current global mortality burden of all cancers or all infectious diseases...they are about six times larger than the current fatality rate from automobile accidents in the United States . . . and amount to 60% of the 2020 reported U.S. fatality rate from COVID-19.”


PBS Frontline, known for its excellent investigative journalism, details the grim history of how the oil industry and their allies resisted and obstructed progress tackling the climate challenge, even though their scientists knew it would be catastrophic. First Denial, then Doubt, then Delay -- all expertly accomplished. It's still going on.

This program won't alleviate your appropriate climate anxiety, but it will put it in clear context. It's not that you didn't do enough to reduce your personal "carbon footprint."

Fossil fuels have been both a gift from, and a force of nature, their allure more powerful than captive governments and concerned citizens. Humanity is thus up against a force of its own creation.

The series indirectly illustrates how desperately the world needs to accomplish what it has yet to do: harness the power of money on a global scale to reduce demand for fossil fuels by causing their prices reflect their enormous damages. It's both Econ 101 and what CCL has been advocating for over a decade. To the extent that we have yet to succeed, this series clarifies the monumental forces we're up against. (Ref: David v. Goliath, Old Testament.)

The lesson? The climate movement needs to finally focus on a single, understandable goal: an effective global carbon fee, the foundational catalyst for all other downstream efforts, including social and environmental justice. Given the enormous power of money, without an effective carbon price, it'll never be a fair fight against the enormous allure of fossil fuels.
We thank the Marin County organizations endorsing the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act
As of 6/8/22

Crook Beales Design, Novato
Good Earth, Fairfax & Mill Valley
Jayli Imports, Point Reyes Station
KW Botanicals, San Anselmo
Marin Sanitary Service, San Rafael
Mikes Bikes, San Rafael
Mill Valley Refuse
Recology -- new
San Rafael Airport, San Rafael
Solarcraft, Novato
The New Wheel, Larkspur
Wild Minimalist, San Rafael
Xtracycle, Mill Valley

Non-Profits and Governments
Rep. Jared Huffman, CA-02
Canal Alliance, San Rafael
Climate Now, Corte Madera
College of Marin, Kentfield
Indivisible Marin, San Rafael
Marin Bicycle Coalition, San Rafael
Marin Board of Supervisors, San Rafael 
MCE, San Rafael
North Bay Leadership Council, Marin & Sonoma Co's
Turning Green, Ross
Question of the Day:
Q: How is it that humans are clever enough to flawlessly send one of the most complex machines ever built into deep space, explore the origins of time and the universe, while simultaneously dancing with the prospect of collective suicide? And what will it take to wake up?

First image from JWST (NASA)
You're invited, but...
This is how one behaves inside The Capitol:
Make an appointment. Business attire recommended. Bring nothing that even looks like a weapon.

If you know someone who would like to be added to this distribution list, please send their email after obtaining their permission, or better yet, have them join CCL.

Prepared by Peter G. Joseph, M.D.
Apologies for cross postings