Marin Chapter Newsletter       October, 2017
Is it climate change?
Now it's our turn to cry. We send our deepest sympathies to our neighbors who are suffering. And, yes, this is the time to talk about climate change.

Last month we included references to the link between climate change and the slew of deadly hurricanes which hit the South and Caribbean. Now we have to address whether the devastating fires in our backyards are as well and what we can do.

Fire professionals agree that climate change has worsened Western wildfires: they're hotter, bigger, faster and more violent. But it's especially unnerving to see neighborhoods that are not particularly densely wooded turned to ash.

We already know it's too late to stop global warming. That was 30 years ago. We're stuck with what's in the pipeline, but there's still time to avert much, much worse in an even hotter, drier and wetter world.

This is precisely why we need a cooperative economy to boost our efforts by accounting for the enormous social costs of burning fossil fuels, costs which are currently and conveniently "externalized" from their prices. The carbon fee is designed to "internalize" these costs so that rational people in a rational economy can make rational decisions about how to meet their energy needs. It would align survival with financial incentives.

Explore the link between climate change and the increasing risk of fires in California here:

Democracy Now's interviewed Park Williams, bioclimatologist at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and co-author of a 2016 report showing that global warming is responsible for nearly half of the forest area burned in the western United States over the past three decades.

Chasing Coral Follow Up Meeting: Sunday, November 5
Our Chasing Coral event on October 29 is full. If you signed up but can't attend, please let Marcy know so we can invite from the wait list.

Please plan to attend the follow up meeting November 5 in Tiburon from 3-5 PM at the lovely Eagle Rock Gardens. We'll explore further the necessity and strategy of pricing carbon to limit the emissions that are warming and acidifying the oceans and killing coral reefs. A coral expert from the California Academy of Sciences has been invited to speak. You can see the film on Netflix before the meeting. Refreshments will be served.

RSVP to Marcy .
Letters to the editor of newspapers (LTE's) and members of Congress are a key element of CCL's approach and number in the tens of thousands yearly. They're seen by millions of readers. Every Congressional office reads the national publications, and every home town newspaper finds its way to their local reps on Capitol Hill, where constituents' opinions are noted and tallied .

In response to a Sunday N.Y. Times piece on climate change which gave short shrift to the need for carbon pricing, Marin group leader Peter Joseph wrote a letter to the editor which was published October 9 in the online, print and international editions. This is great exposure for CCL!

Training volunteers to write effective letters is part of CCL's mission of empowering its volunteers. You too can learn how on this CCL Community webinar.
Executive Director Mark Reynolds' Op-Ed response to Trump's move against the Clean Power Plan

"In its zeal to undo the legacy of our 44th president, the  Trump   administration is now undoing the future of our children and grandchildren by repealing the Clean Power Plan, a policy designed to reduce the heat-trapping emissions that make our climate more and more inhospitable.

How inhospitable? We’ve gotten a frightening glimpse of an altered climate recently with disasters fueled by warmer temperatures." Read on.

Note that CCL took no position on the CPP, an executive action taken because Congress failed to send Obama a market-based carbon fee plan. As promised, he used his authority under the Clean Air Act through the EPA. Opponents claim this is "executive overreach." As Mark's pieces says, Congress has an easy remedy to that: pass a carbon fee.

Looking for Motivation?
It's worse than most of us think, or want to believe. From the authors of Climate Code Red comes this sobering analysis of how far along the path to climate apocalypse we really are, thanks to political timidness and manipulation, well organized denial, lack of courage and imagination on the part of policy makers and even the scientific community's fear of being called "alarmist."

This is not fun reading, but it's necessary in order to deal effectively and urgently with reality if we are to survive as a functional civilization. Ask Darwin what becomes of those who don't.

Here's their analysis of what the inadequate and unenforceable Paris accords would "accomplish":
Can you imagine achieving a safe climate future as long as fossil fuels remain artificially cheap? Paris didn't address this, which is why we desperately need a steeply rising carbon price that can be harmonized across nations by a border carbon tariff. This is CCL's message.

For further details, read the following:
CCL's proposal in the MIT Climate CoLab contest for a Carbon Price focuses on how to proceed post Paris, despite Trump
CCL members Joe Robertson (international coordinator), Gary Horvitz and Peter Joseph enjoying dreary Cambridge, MA after winning the Popular Choice award for their 2014 carbon pricing proposal
Marin chapter leader Peter Joseph has again co-authored an updated proposal explaining CCL's carbon fee, dividend and border carbon adjustment:

You can read, then support it by registering at the CoLab, then clicking "support" on the proposal -- basically "liking" it. In December, after revisions, we'll ask you to actually vote for it in the Popular Choice award contest, which we've won twice before.
Paul Hawken's new book, Drawdown, is making waves. It launched at Dominican University in April. Paul was CCL's guest speaker on our August 12 international conference call. Bill Maher interviewed him on September 29, and he participated in a packed event, Drawdown Marin, on October 3 at the Marin Civic Center.

His message is a refreshing dose of hope mixed with out-of-the-box thinking: Humans are responding to the threat of climate change; we have solutions ready to be deployed at scale -- and they're not what you might think. (Hint: the top solutions concern refrigeration, wind energy, food waste, diet, tropical forests and the education of girls.) We've already decarbonized -- all that stored carbon has been liberated into the atmosphere. What we need now is to re-carbonize by drawing the carbon out of the atmosphere and putting it back into storage. War imagery ("fighting climate change," etc.) is negative thinking -- positive language is important in changing the framing.

Drawdown is an incredible piece of work, a data-driven, peer-reviewed science-based roadmap to a stable climate. What's missing -- by design -- is any discussion of policy that would accelerate deployment of these solutions. When asked about this, Paul says that policy and solutions are separate issues, and his book is about the latter.

But, says Paul during Q&A, "as long as you ask, the most important policy is an effective carbon price." Bingo! Cue CCL.
Watch: The Case for a Carbon Tax Author on CCL's International Conference Call
Did you hear CCL's September 9th international call guest speaker, Dr. Shi-Ling Hsu, author of The Case for A Carbon Tax and member of CCL's advisory board? From his South Florida home, as hurricane Irma churned towards him (before evacuation orders), he calmly explains why CCL's proposal is so reasonable, efficient and fair. Even if you were on the call, watch it again and memorize his talking points!

Here's a short summary . His slender book will be at our meetings and is well worth 30 bucks if you really want to understand the economic and political case for a carbon tax. Yes, it's economics, but there are only two pages of calculus and quite a bit of humor.
Going Up!

Billion Dollar Climate Events Since 2008

The U.S. has sustained 218 weather and climate disasters since 1980 where overall damages/costs reached or exceeded $1 billion. The total cost of these 218 events exceeds $1.2 trillion, not yet including Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, nor the recent California fires.

Note the trend: The 1980–2016 annual average is 5.5 events; the annual average for the most recent 5 years (2012–2016) is 10.6 events.
Over 300 CCL members are coming for over 150 meetings scheduled thus far. You can too.
Activate Your Group with a CCL Presentation!
One of the best ways to spread the word about CCL is to arrange for a presentation to your group -- friends, associates, workplace, school, club, place of worship -- anywhere you can assemble an audience. We have experienced speakers eager to educate. Contact Peter Joseph.
Looking for Ways to Get Involved? 
Marin Action Teams Want You!
"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're all volunteers, and you don't need to be an expert to help. 
One of the best ways to get involved is to...just get involved! Our action team leaders invite you to participate. Teams include:
If yo ur skill set resonates with any of these teams, please contact Molly with your interest.
If you're ready for that breakthrough and have one hour/month to volunteer for CCL, we invite you to attend a hands-on workshop in Mill Valley. 

We'll tailor small group discussion to you in order to help you find your personal political power. 

At these workshops we will:
  • Get to know other CCL members 
  • Demonstrate the new Community and CCL University sites, both rich learning resources
  • Answer your questions, discuss upcoming opportunities and your personal next steps 

If you're new we look forward to meeting you. If you've already attended a meeting, we look forward to deepening your understanding and involvement.

Seating is limited to 10 people. Please pose questions in your reply to help us plan to address your needs. When we receive your response, we'll send directions and carpool/shuttle info.  RSVP to Barbara Wilson .

Worth Repeating:
"We knew this would happen, decades ago. We knew this would happen, and we didn’t care. Now is the time to say it as loudly as possible: Harvey is what climate change looks like. More specifically, Harvey is what climate change looks like in a world that has decided, over and over, that it doesn’t want to take climate change seriously."
CCL Advisory Board member Dr. James Hansen, first to warn Congress in 1988, former Director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, now Columbia University Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, has said this many times: Warmer ocean surface temperatures equal wetter storms. Basic physics.
Watch Elon Musk explain climate change and the carbon tax in 12 minutes
You'll enjoy this. In his own slightly shy and unique way, Elon Musk explains climate change and the carbon tax in a nutshell at The Sorbonne during the Paris climate summit in December, 2015. It's not rocket science, but he could explain that as well.
"I’m a climate scientist. And I’m not letting trickle-down ignorance win."
Dr. Ben Santer,  IPCC climatologist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, member of the National Academy of Sciences, writes passionately about why he will not submit to intimidation, a lesson learned young when trapped alone deep in an Alpine crevasse. It was life or death then -- and still is. Read his latest post in Scientific American celebrating Voyager and the beauty of science.
  Download here  for a deep dive into carbon pricing policy. 
Scientists made a detailed “roadmap” for meeting the Paris climate goals. It’s eye-opening -- Vox
A well written primer from The Urban Institute and Brookings on the theory and practice of carbon pricing around the world. Easy to understand format.
"We have a moral, ethical, and survival imperative to learn about climate change" 
Terrific one-stop shopping for a gold mine of climate related articles from our friends the Unitarian-Universalists, who pay due attention to the moral and spiritual aspects of responding to this crisis.
Years of Living Dangerously Short Videos
#ClimateFacts: Hurricane Irma

#ClimateFacts: Hurricane Harvey
Warming Seas and Hurricane Harvey with Ian Somerhalder

Subscribe to the weekly podcasts. Warning: unflinching, uncomfortable realism that can be both a downer and stimulant for action.  
Climate Feedback is a global network of scientists fact-checking climate change news. They collectively assess the credibility of influential climate change media coverage.
And Now, Some Bad News
Trump EPA's 4-Year Strategic Plan Doesn't Mention 'Climate.' Not Once
Here , policy wonks, see if you can find mention of climate change from our own Environmental Protection Agency. Nixon must be tossing in his grave.
As Seas Warm, Whales Face New Dangers, NYT

It's Not Regulations That Cost Jobs, It's Climate Change -- The Intercept

How 90 Big Companies Helped Fuel Climate Change -- Inside Climate News

And Now, Some Good News
Financial firms lead shareholder rebellion against ExxonMobil climate change policies , WaPo

Just getting started?
  Join the  Intro Call  every Wednesday at 5 PM then take the  Climate Advocate  training, offered on the  3rd and 4th Wednesdays of each month  at 5 PM PT 

Past Marin CCL Newsletters
If you've read this far, you might be zealous enough to want to review past 2017 Marin Chapter newsletters. Here they are:

Questions? Comments? 
Email  (Peter Joseph) with questions or comments. Apologies for cross postings.