Marin Chapter Newsletter
January, 2020

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

NASA/GISS scientific paper by James Hansen & colleagues

"As long as fossil fuels remain cheap, they will be used."
-- Dr. James Hansen, former chief NASA climate scientist and CCL advisory board member

Global surface temperature in 2019 was the 2nd highest in the period of instrumental measurements in the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) analysis. The rate of global warming has accelerated in the past decade. The five warmest years in the GISS record all occur in the past five years, and the 10 warmest years are all in the 21st century. Growth rates of the greenhouse gases driving global warming are increasing, not declining.

Time for a carbon tax!

CCL members are participating

6-8pm – Good Earth, Mill Valley
Good Earth, at 201 Flamingo Rd., Mill Valley, CA 94941 .
Meet in the new classroom next to UPS, in the south corner of the building. CCL will be there.

2020 Climate Resilience Series
At the Corte Madera Community Center

Part I-Sun: Community Microgrids: Renewable Energy and Resilience
February 4   Register here

Part II-Water: Sea Level Rise and Nature-Based Adaptation
March 17

Part III-Earth: Healthy Agricultural Soils for a Climate Resilient Planet
May 5
Pricing Carbon:
The Carbon Fee & Dividend Proposal
Feb.5th, 2020, 6:30, Sebastopol Grange
Dr. Peter Joseph, Group Leader, CCL Marin chapter
Next Marin CCL member meeting
Saturday, February 11
9:30-12:00 in San Anselmo
Please RSVP to Jay Frantz
Congressman Jared Huffman Town Hall meeting
When: Friday, January 24, 2020

Time: 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM

Where: San Rafael Community Center, 618 B Street, San Rafael.Please   click here  for a map.

This event is free and open to the public, however seating is limited and will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis up to capacity. Large bags or backpacks and signs will not be permitted in the venue. Please   click here   to RSVP.

If you have questions please contact the San Rafael office at (415) 258-9657.
Inspiring essay by Marin CCL steering committee member Ray Welch

Ray, the talented author of A Change in the Weather (a futuristic novel set after the arctic has melted) writes:

"We got into the climate mess through normal economic behavior. Can we get ourselves out the same way? ...
Climate disruption is upon us. Yet even as a haze of smoke hung over my neighborhood once again this fall, I found reason for optimism somewhere I never expected: politics."
Have you been active? Let us know!
Bay Area CCL members with Dr. Katharine Hayhoe (front row, blue blazer, big smile) last year when she was awarded the Stephen Schneider Award by the Commonwealth Club

If you've done something that qualifies as a CCL activity -- interactions with the media (meetings, letters, op-eds, interviews, etc.), the public (meetings, presentations, constituent letters collected), contact with elected representative (letters written, calls generated, questions a town hall) -- please let us know. These important stats continue to be very impressive.
Please contact Ray Welch with the details.

Columbia scholar Noah Kaufman's presentation to the House Energy and Commerce Committee
(49 second clip)
"Any of the eight carbon pricing bills now before congress would dramatically change the future pathway of US emissions."

Where Is the Green New Deal Headed in 2020?

"Frankly, nobody has ever been excited about waking up in the morning and thinking, 'I'm going to be taxed for carbon!' What the Green New Deal has done is broken through that, with something you can genuinely get excited about,"
-- RL Miller, ClimateHawks Vote

That excitement is totally great, ClimateHawks, and maybe politics feels less exciting and more tedious than marching, but please explain how those virtuous goals can be achieved as long as fossil fuels remain artificially "cheap."
Besides, politics can be exciting -- especially if you're in CCL!

Now please read this:

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."

And just what we don't need:

The development of partisan polarization over the Green New Deal

Wow! The bankers are on board.
International Monetary Fund:
The world needs a massive carbon tax in just 10 years to limit climate change

(Hint: how do we get there without hurting people? Don't be France: return the revenues back to them. )

Speaking of which:
Got investments?

BlackRock shakes up business to focus on sustainable investing
Chief executive warns of risks posed to markets by climate change
What's New with the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act?
75 Congressional Cosponsors
543 Businesses
91 Faith Groups
88 Local governments
145 Nonprofits
21 News Media
359 Prominent Individuals
Got Questions?
 What You Need to Know About a Federal Carbon Tax in the United States

How to Cut U.S. Carbon Pollution by Nearly 40 Percent in 10 Years
A bill in Congress could slash American greenhouse-gas emissions. It’s even bipartisan—if you squint.

" In Washington, the immaculate solution to climate change has a name: a bipartisan, revenue-neutral carbon tax. The idea should have wide appeal. Under the plan, the government would charge companies for every ton of greenhouse gas they emit. Instead of spending that money, the government would immediately send it back to Americans as a tax cut or check. Over time, Americans would make greener choices (a win for Democrats) without growing the size of the government (a win for Republicans). And so climate change would slow (a win for everyone)."
Wondering what works?

Learn from this deep MIT model what works and what doesn't in lowering fossil fuel emissions. (Hint: a carbon price is the most powerful tool in the tool box but alone is insufficient. Multiple tools are needed, but without an effective price incentivize them and amplify their impacts , nothing else gets the job done -- not even close.)
Stunning WaPo video essay on climate impacts in America:
Across America, climate change is already disrupting lives

Another urgent reason to transition away from fossil fuels:
Fugitive Methane:
It’s a Vast, Invisible Climate Menace. We Made It Visible.

Don't buy the "natural gas is a transition fuel" narrative. Fugitive methane makes natural gas as terrible as coal.
Got Security?
Army War College: The U.S. Military is “Precariously Underprepared” for Climate Change
 Got refugees?

Sea level rise could hit 2 meters by 2100 - much worse than feared
...but, but, I live on a hill...

Getting Desperate:
The data tell them it's long past time to migrate from their labs and comfort zones and take action, like Jim Hansen did years ago, saying:
"What would you do if you knew what I know?"

--James Hansen, former chief NASA climate scientist and CCL Advisory Board member, first alerted congress in 1988: "Global warming has been detected."

Watch his prophetic 2012 TED talk here and
understand the fundamental concept of earth's energy imbalance.

Years later:
A Prophet of Doom Was Right About the Climate
(He wishes he'd been wrong.)

Extra Credit

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.)

By 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. But 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."

Sorry kids, not our problem, says the court
Court Quashes Youth Climate Change Case Against Government

"Disappointing but not surprising... all three branches of the federal government are sitting on their hands as the planet burns.”

-- Prof. Michael Gerrard, Columbia University Law School,
CCL advisory board member

“Reluctantly, we conclude that such relief is beyond our constitutional power. Rather, the plaintiffs’ impressive case for redress must be presented to the political branches of government.”

Exactly why Congress needs to enact a carbon tax!
You can help them do it.


In a lengthy and impassioned dissent, Judge Josephine L. Staton wrote that “the government accepts as fact that the United States has reached a tipping point crying out for a concerted response — yet presses ahead toward calamity. It is as if an asteroid were barreling toward Earth and the government decided to shut down our only defenses.”

Help the kids' next appeal at Our Children's Trust
Do you smell gas?
Can Permafrost Melt be Slowed by Bringing Back the Wooly Mammoth Using Their DNA?
(fascinating, disturbing 12 min journey to melting Siberia)
"After watching "An Inconvenient Truth" in 2006, Marshall concluded that his efforts to help the poor would come to no avail if climate change made people's homes unlivable. Seeing that a lack of political will was the key obstacle in addressing climate change, he started Citizens' Climate Lobby in 2007"
-- and the rest, as they say, is history. From 1 to 200,000 in 13 years. Thank you, gentle Marshall. You will be missed.

Memorial service in Coronado on January 25 will be live streamed. Info here .

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

Comments, Questions?

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