Marin Chapter Newsletter
January 27, 2021

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

We hope all of you are staying safe and sane. Our hearts go out to those affected by the fires, the virus and all their many impacts. We must carry on with increased energy and focus. 2021 will be the year of change.

(Note: Some images may not appear when using Apple Safari browser.)
Most of us hadn't heard of Amanda Gorman until January 20, when she stunned the world at the inauguration with her poetry and poise. But here's her moving 2018 poem performed for Al Gore's Climate Reality:
Biden Signs Sweeping Orders to Tackle Climate Change and Rollback Trump’s Anti-Environment Legacy

Former Fed Chair Janet Yellen, now Treasury Secretary, Could Be Key To Confronting Climate

As a signatory of The Economists' Statement on Carbon Dividends, the new Treasury Secretary has declared her support for carbon fee and dividend.

From her Senate Finance Committee confirmation hearing on January 21, 2021:

(Sen. Whitehouse): "Do you believe putting a price on carbon is one of, if not the most effective policies we can pursue in order to reduce emissions consistent with scientific targets?"

"I am fully supportive of effective carbon pricing and I know that the President is as well. We cannot solve the climate crisis without effective carbon pricing. The President does support an enforcement mechanism that requires polluters to bear the full cost of the carbon pollution they are emitting."

"Climate change is an existential threat to not only our environment, but also our economy...climate change poses a potential systemic risk to the American economy, and I believe we must seriously look at assessing the risks to the financial system from climate change."
Hear ye! Hear ye!
(Long an obstacle to effective climate action, this statement is politically huge, and sounds close to an endorsement of a carbon tax, or at least they're not opposed.)

"The climate is changing and humans are contributing to these changes.

We believe that there is much common ground on which all sides of this discussion could come together to address climate change with policies that are practical, flexible, predictable, and durable. We believe in a policy approach that acknowledges the costs of action and inaction and the competitiveness of the U.S. economy.

The Chamber believes that an effective climate policy should:

  • Support a Market-Based Approach to Accelerate GHG Emissions Reductions Across the U.S. Economy
  • Leverage the power of business
  • Maintain U.S. leadership in climate science
  • Embrace technology and innovation
  • Aggressively pursue greater energy efficiency
  • Promote climate resilient infrastructure
  • Support trade in U.S. technologies and products
  • Encourage international cooperation

Inaction is not an option.
We call on policymakers to seize on an approach that rises to the challenge of climate change, leveraging business leadership and expertise, America’s energy edge and our ability to innovate."
There’s a simple way to green the economy – and it involves cash prizes for all
Henry D. Jacoby, MIT emeritus professor of management and former co-director of the MIT joint program on the science and policy of global change

"The ‘carbon dividend’ is so elegant that it seems too good to be true. Governments should make it a post-pandemic priority."

(Houston, we have a problem)

"To follow a 1.5°C-consistent pathway, the world will need to decrease fossil fuel production by a whopping 6% per year between 2020 and 2030. Countries are instead planning and projecting an average annual increase of 2%, which by 2030 would result in more than double the production consistent with the 1.5°C limit.

But pre-COVID plans and post-COVID stimulus measures point to a continuation of the growing global fossil fuel production gap, locking in severe climate disruption.

To date, governments have committed far more COVID-19 funds to fossil fuels than to clean energy. Policymakers must reverse this trend to meet climate goals."

(How does anyone think civilization can throttle increasing demand for fossil fuels as long as they remain artificially "cheap?" (Econ 101.) This is why the world needs global carbon pricing rather than the virtuous hodgepodge of 196 individual nations' unenforceable "intentions" to be "ambitious."

(The border tariff in a carbon fee, dividend and border adjustment uses the brute force of the global economy -- the enormous forces of money and markets -- to level the playing field between nations who price carbon seriously and those that don't. The European Union is working to put in place a carbon border tax. Under this system, countries that have not already set a carbon price of their own may find those prices are added in when they export their goods to Europe, with major repercussions for American industries that will spur carbon tax discussions about how to avoid the fees. What force other than healthy economic competition can bend the emissions curve?)

First, some bad news:
I’ve Said Goodbye to ‘Normal.’ You Should, Too.
Roy Scranton, director of the Notre Dame Environmental Humanities Initiative and the author of “We’re Doomed. Now What?” and “Learning to Die in the Anthropocene.”

"In March last year, watching an unknown plague stalk the land, I felt fear, but I also felt hope: the hope that this virus, as horrible as it might be, could also give us the chance to really understand and internalize the fragility and transience of our collective existence. I hoped we might recognize not only that fossil-fuel-driven consumer capitalism was likely to destroy everything we loved, but that we might actually be able to do something about it."

(That's right. "Consumer capitalism" suffers from a gaping wound that we actually can do something about: the failure of energy markets to factor in the true costs of fossil fuels' damages into their prices. Until that is rectified, how can there be any hope for systemic change? Fixing that failure is CCL's mission. A carbon tax elegantly and immediately addresses the problem.)
There's also hope:
Many Scientists Now Say Global Warming Could Stop Relatively Quickly After Emissions Go to Zero

"It’s definitely the scientific consensus now that warming stabilizes quickly, within 10 years, of emissions going to zero..."

(What a relief! And the essential ingredient to slamming the brakes on fossil fuel consumption is...?*)
Carbon Taxes: Accelerating Innovation While Cutting Emissions

Economists overwhelmingly agree that “carbon taxes”—levies on the sale of fossil fuels such as oil, natural gas, and coal—offer “the most cost-effective lever to reduce carbon emissions at the scale and speed that is necessary” to address the global climate emergency.

The logic of harnessing market incentives is simple: individuals and enterprises, acting out of self-interest, will shift toward lower- carbon alternatives as prices rise for fossil fuels and the products and services that embed them. Real- world evidence supports that logic; for example, a modest carbon tax in Great Britain slashed the use of coal in electricity generation from more than 40 percent in 2013 to a mere 3 percent in just six years.

Sometimes overlooked in discussions of carbon taxes is the similarly strong consensus among economists that “a consistently rising carbon price” will also “encourage technological innovation” to favor less reliance on fossil fuels. New technology offers the welcome promise of weaning the world off of dirty fuels much faster, and at lower cost, than many scenarios assume. By inducing the development of such new technology, as well as favoring currently available low-carbon options, carbon taxes provide two paths toward climate mitigation: reducing both emissions and the cost of cleaner energy.
What scare tactics are "climate inactivists" now deploying as a last-ditch effort to block climate action?
You might be surprised.
CCL University's January 26th superb hour with Dr. Michael Mann, Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Science at Penn State, director of the Penn State Earth System Science Center (ESSC) and the author of The New Climate War: The Fight to Take Back our Planet. Hosted by CCL Science Policy Network leader Dana Nuccitelli.
Watch Senator Sheldon Whitehouse's final "Time to Wake Up" speech, a dose of political history and realism

After seven years and more than 275 passionate, eloquent, hard hitting entreaties to get moving, aimed especially at corporate America, Sen. Whitehouse is hanging up his beat up poster. "Latent bipartisanship hasn't gone away, and if we can't get that, we've got reconciliation...The dark castle of denial can fall, and Congress can rise. But we can still screw this up, so let's not. The conditions are at last in place for a real solution. Time to get to work."
Virtual Sessions include:

  • Business Stepping Up on Climate
  • Connecting With Youth Across the World
  • Engaging With the Right, the Right Way
  • Engaging With Environmental Justice

  • A Just Transition for Labor
  • Evangelicals Supporting Action On Climate Protection
  • School-Based Climate Action
  • Environmental Justice + Climate Protection

  • California’s Green Economy
  • Youth as Essential Communicators + Youth Action
  • Update on California Climate Policy
  • Indigenous Perspectives, Fire and Climate Change

  • Farmers Panel
  • Bi-Partisan Youth Panel
  • Climate Change In California: Protecting Our Unique BioDiversity
  • Frontline impacts of fossil fuels

  • Climate Advocacy Training
  • EnRoads Global Game
  • Group Leaders and Liaisons Workshop
  • Stand Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) Workshop

  • Harnessing Media Outreach
  • Youth Networking
  • Talking to Progressives
  • Outreach Opportunities for 2021

Marin CCL membership meeting
Hear what our chapter is up to and how you can participate. We'll discuss how the new political landscape is shaping climate action.
Saturday, February 13, 9 AM
RSVP here for the Zoom link

Followed by the National call at 10 AM
Details here

The next session of Congress will see the introduction of more carbon pricing bills, and we want to be ready to garner local business leaders' support. Our Business Outreach Committee wants to assist Marin business leaders in focusing their political influence towards passing specific carbon legislation such as that unanimously recommended by our Board of Supervisors and the California Legislature.

If you would like to participate, introduce us to owners, CEOs or other business executives who want to learn more, please contact Debbie Patrick. Thanks!
Introducing the new CCL Action Tracker
Better days: Bay Area CCL members with Dr. Katharine Hayhoe (front row, blue blazer, big smile) when she was awarded the 2018 Stephen Schneider Award by the Commonwealth Club, before social distancing became de rigeur.

While sheltering in place, have you been active? (Yes, it's still possible.) If you've (safely) done something that qualifies as a CCL activity -- attending virtual meetings, letters to newspapers, interactions with the media, the public, contact with elected representatives, working with other members, etc., please log these activities. You can see and be inspired by what others are doing. These important stats continue to be very impressive for grant writing and meetings with members of Congress. Please visit the new Action Tracker page on Community.
Bienvenue a Paris!
(Welcome back to Paris, Sec. Kerry! Now please push for a predictably rising global carbon price that all nations will have to adopt should they wish to engage in international commerce.)
Stay safe, everyone!
This year will be better.
Please contribute to Marin CCL
Help cover printing and other expenses for tabling, outreach, youth participation, etc.
Send your (non-tax deductible) check to:
Marin Citizens' Climate Lobby
95 Central Avenue, Sausalito, CA 94965
If everyone contributed 10 bucks we'd be more than fine!

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