Marin Chapter Newsletter
June-July, 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 meetings
Saturdays, July 13 and August 10
9:30-11:30, location TBD

Join us on the second Saturday of the month at 9:30 to connect with your fellow CCL members, watch the national video conference at 10, ask questions and learn how you can participate. New and established members welcome! Veterans will be there to help.
Please register here .
Visit our table on July 4th at the Woodacre Flea Market

Field on Sir Francis Drake adjacent the Horse Arena, Dickson Ranch, across from Spirit Rock, entrance in downtown Woodacre

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, you might say...grown. 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, ten more House members have cosponsored it, bringing the total to 51.

what does it actually do (and not do)?
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 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 for action is NOW!"
HR 9: The First Climate Bill to Pass the House In a Decade

" ...for the first time in a decade, the House of Representatives passed a climate change bill.   HR 9,  the Climate Action Now Act, passed on a vote of 231-190. The heart of HR 9 is section 3, which blocks the use of any federal funds to withdraw from the Paris Agreement. Section 4 of the bill gives the President 120 days to “develop and submit to the appropriate congressional committees and make available to the public a plan for the United States to meet its nationally determined contribution under the Paris Agreement.”  

Here's Speaker Pelosi's argument: “If you believe, as do I and so many Evangelical communities, that this planet is God’s creation and we have a moral responsibility to be good stewards of it, then you would be sure to be a good steward and sign up for Climate Action Now. But even if you don’t share that religious belief, we all know that we have a moral responsibility to the next generation to pass this planet on in a better way than we found it.”

(Comment: Yes, Trump's withdrawal from the Paris climate accord is an international disgrace, and here the Dems are scolding him. While this accord might have been the best they could do in 2015, Paris is nowhere near enough to stave off climate disaster, nor, Madame Speaker, are prayers. The world needs an effective global price on carbon, mediated through the border carbon adjustment, which the U.N. simply cannot accomplish. Read on.)
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 population.
Welcome, Prof. Michael Gerrard

CCL advisory board member, Prof. Michael Gerrard, Columbia University Law School, advised N.Y. Gov. Cuomo and the State legislature on landmark legislation:

New York: A new climate law is a major landmark, but now requires work and sacrifice
by Michael Gerrard

" New York became an instant global leader in the fight against climate change with the passage last week of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act. No other state and no large country has enacted a law with the essential ingredients to meet the temperature goals of the Paris Climate Agreement: a legally binding legislative act to achieve ​​an 85% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and a goal of net zero."


New York to Approve One of the World’s Most Ambitious Climate Plans

(Another reason why the Energy Innovation Act is so important: It's Washington's best chance to do its job where states can't act.)

Marin supervisors oppose corporate-backed carbon tax plan

Our supes have spoken clearly that fossil fuel companies should not be let off the hook for climate damages they knew about 30 years ago. They oppose the proposition from the Climate Leadership Council ( CLC ) -- not to be confused or conflated with Citizens' Climate Lobby (CCL). Nor are there any such legal protections in the Energy Innovation Act, which CCL supports. See the online comments by Marin chapter's leader.

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."
..."a carbon tax is a flexible policy instrument that can be set at levels reflecting the goals of those who want to take relatively gradual or more aggressive action against climate change."


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 TED talk.
Understanding the "Regulatory Pause" in the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act

This feature of the bill has some, including our own congressman, 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 trope 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. It's that simple. Raise the price and do it without hurting people.
GOP pollster Luntz: Majority of younger Republicans worried by party stance on climate change
Bye Bye Birdie:
Human society under urgent threat from loss of Earth's natural life
Notes from a Remarkable Political Moment for Climate Change

If not now, when? If not us, who?

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.