Marin Chapter Newsletter
August, 2019

CCL exists to create the political will for climate solutions by enabling individual breakthroughs in the exercise of personal and political power. -- Mission Statement

General membership and new member welcome meeting
Saturdays August 17 and September 21
9:30-Noon, San Anselmo

Join us at 9:30 to connect with your fellow CCL members, watch the national video conference, ask questions and learn how you can participate. New and established members welcome! Veterans will be there to help.
Please register here .

Green New Deal community forum
August 24, 4-5:30
Dance Palace, Pt. Reyes Station
Further info at (415) 766-1439
CCL members will participate

10th annual Citizens’ Climate International Conference & Lobby Day
breaks all records

Compared to the 25 who first gathered in DC 10 years ago, CCL has grown explosively. This year's diverse group of over 1,500 volunteers attending the 10th international conference met with 529 of the 545 offices on The Hill in support of the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act.

 Since CCL's conference, more House members have cosponsored it, bringing the total to 59.

what does it actually do (and not do)?

Econ 202:
A decade after the world bailed out finance, it’s time for finance to bail out the world. (Hint: with a carbon tax, which creates positive financial feedback loops.)

Adam Tooze, history professor and director of the European Institute at Columbia University 

"Economists at the Bank of England have laid out two divergent economic scenarios for the transition away from fossil fuels. One is a world in which governments are able to persuade industry that they are serious about zero emissions. Steep taxes on carbon are backed by all parties and stakeholders and are telegraphed far in advance. This clarity of vision encourages industry to invest heavily in alternatives to carbon.

As a result of large-scale investment, the cost of renewable energy falls swiftly. That, in turn, makes it more credible for governments to commit to full-scale decarbonization because the trade-offs will be less painful. Financial markets’ positive assessment of government climate policy then serves to confirm the investment decisions of the private sector. In this scenario, those with fossil fuel assets face losses, but those losses are clearly identified and can be efficiently priced. The financial system doesn’t suffer a shock."

"In the other scenario, governments talk about climate change but take no credible steps to shift the energy mix. As a result, private sector investment in renewables remains low. Fossil fuels continue to enjoy significant cost advantages in key areas such as motor vehicles, airline travel, and electricity generation in poorer countries. Oil companies continue to deploy sophisticated new technologies to unlock new reserves. The fracking revolution continues at pace and spreads worldwide. The low cost of fossil fuels makes it hard to believe that politicians are serious about a zero-emissions future. In this scenario, fossil fuel companies like ExxonMobil and their shareholders are the winners—at least until catastrophic global warming takes hold."

" Only when carbon is properly priced will there be a major economic incentive to large-scale private investment. But even that may not be enough. To generate substantial private investment, governments will need to establish a credible commitment to decarbonization. The scale of the leap required is huge. Between fiscal years 1978 and 2018, spending by the U.S. Energy Department on research in renewable energy came to a grand total of $27.65 billion in constant 2016 dollars. That’s less than Americans spent on pet food and treats last year."

Where 2020 Democrats Stand on Carbon Pricing

John Delaney leads the pack as far as carbon fee and dividend is concerned. (But don't hold your breath.)
Bill Moyers is back!
What if reporters covered the climate crisis like Edward R. Murrow covered the start of World War II?

" Truth doesn't get ratings."
Scroll to 4:45:06 for a passionate plea from a seasoned journalist unafraid to tell the truth. Be afraid -- for today's pathetic coverage of climate change.
We are not alone:
The Year of the Carbon Pricing Proposal

Fasten your seat belts, folks: carbon pricing proposals are sprouting in Congress. There are now 6. Read about them here . It's time to get wonky.

Welcome, James Balog

Fearless National Geographic photographer, best known for his movies Chasing Ice and The Human Element , Jim Balog recently accepted our invitation to join CCL's advisory board. A virtuoso story teller, he's already been immensely effective in raising awareness. Watch his message to CCL , shown before the screening of The Human Element the evening before the June conference. (He would have been there personally had he not been in remote Greenland.) Since the showing, over 25 CCL groups have requested the movie for local screenings. Our group did so last February. You can get it on iTunes .
"Use your voice, use your vision, because the time to act is NOW!"
by Sasja Beslik, Head of Group Sustainable Finance at Nordea.

"The agreement doesn’t include a global tax on carbon. If recent history has taught us anything, it’s that fear of global disaster isn’t enough to change people’s behaviour. Money always moves the needle, however. In terms of global warming, that means instituting a global tax on carbon. Without a carbon tax, there is no financial incentive for countries to stop using cheap fossil fuels and transition to more sustainable sources (which means countries will never do it)."

CCL and the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act do just that with the border carbon adjustment. And full dividend return makes it palatable to the people (unlike what happened in France.)

Trust your feelings:
Dancing with Grief
Dahr Jamail
Author of The End of Ice

He's covered the war in Iraq and the disappearance of the cryosphere.

Why a Green New Deal Must Include a Carbon Tax

" Some GND supporters, it seems, see a carbon tax as too timid, like trying to fight a forest fire with a garden hose. They have just read the  latest U.N. report and the new  National Climate Assessment . They see the clock ticking on global catastrophe. A carbon tax may be a nudge in the right direction, they say, but it is still just a nudge. They want to make big changes, and make them fast."

"My answer to those fears is that a carbon tax can be a lot more than a tweak or a nudge. It can be as powerful a tool as Green New Dealers are willing to make it. In fact, it should be the centerpiece of a GND package . Here are some ideas how the too-timid kind of carbon tax you may have been thinking about could be made much bolder. "


U.S. Medical Groups Warn Candidates: Climate Change Is a 'Health Emergency'

" The nation's leading medical organizations are urging political candidates "to recognize climate change as a health emergency." As the campaign season enters full gear, they issued a call for urgent action on "one of the greatest threats to health America has ever faced."

More than 70 health organizations signed a statement that, among other things, calls for a move away from fossil fuels. The groups cite storm and flood emergencies, chronic air pollution, the spread of diseases carried by insects, and especially heat-related illnesses."

( Comment : Next, they should study and support the specific measures necessary to redress their concerns, namely, reducing emissions by effectively pricing them.)

The kids are pissed, and with good reason.
Watch her amazing TED talk.
Understanding the "Regulatory Pause" in the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act

This feature of the bill has some, including our own representative, concerned about suspending certain regulations covered by a carbon price. This briefing addresses them.
Take a deeper policy dive:
Center on Global Energy Policy
from Noah Kaufman's talk at the DC conference

" Compared to 2005 levels, implementing EICDA as
a stand-alone policy leads to economy-wide net greenhouse gas emissions reductions of about...38 percent by 2030... Most of the emission reductions occur in the power sector, where emissions fall 82 to 84 percent by 2030. These emissions reductions exceed the targets in the EICDA proposal through 2030 and exceed the U.S. commitments to the Paris agreement over this period. "

"The price on carbon causes the US economy to shift from carbon-intensive energy sources to low- and zero-carbon energy sources. Coal is nearly eliminated from the US power sector. Solar, wind, and natural gas with carbon capture and storage all increase significantly compared to a current policy scenario. EICDA also avoids the retirement of numerous nuclear power plants."

Comment: In other words: the carbon tax is effective , necessary but not sufficient . Let's dispense with the myth that "it's not a silver bullet, therefore forget about it..." Rules and regs are obviously still needed where the price doesn't penetrate. Any regulatory "pause" must be delicately designed. Don't fall for the false argument that we think a carbon tax is a panacea. We don't, but as long as fossil fuels remain artificially "cheap," their ineluctable attraction will cause them to be used, and that will overwhelm all other efforts. It's that simple. Raise the price and do it without hurting people.
Uh oh:
New models point to more global warming than expected

 "Marine stratocumulus clouds cover vast swaths of the tropical and subtropical oceans, where they reflect large amounts of sunlight and provide an overall cooling effect on climate. New global climate models are showing the potential for more global warming than long thought, perhaps due to a reduction in low-level clouds such as marine stratocumulus."

"The amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has increased by about 45% during the rapid industrialization of the last 150 years. Since regular measurements began atop Mauna Loa, Hawaii, CO2 concentrations have increased from about 315 parts per million in 1957 to around 410 ppm today. Fossil fuel burning and other human activities generate more than 35 billion tons of airborne CO2 a year. Just over half of that is absorbed by oceans, soil, and plants, and roughly a third of the atmospheric remainder stays in the air for a century or more (some of it for thousands of years)."

Comment:How unearth are we to fix this problem as long as fossil fuels remain artificially "cheap?"

GOP pollster Luntz: Majority of younger Republicans worried by party stance on climate change

They're doing great work at the school board level making climate change a children's issue. But the politics are thick.

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