CCL2015: Full Conference Report

An idea whose time has come

In 2010, when Citizens’ Climate Lobby brought 25 citizen volunteers to Capitol Hill, it felt like a big challenge to get enough people to go the distance, to meet with all 535 voting members of Congress. This year, we brought 36 times as many people, and it is looking more like we will need more elected officials to welcome and build relationships with all the citizen lobbyists coming to make democracy work.


The 2015 CCL International Conference brought a record number of citizen volunteer lobbyists together—more than 900—to have real policy discussions with elected officials. It was a breakthrough year in a lot of ways:

  • For the first time, we had more people attending than could reasonably fit into the meetings we had scheduled.
  • We had nearly three times as many volunteers to role-play members of Congress in our basic training than we had volunteers total in our first conference.
  • We heard from not one but two great scientists who have been named to TIME Magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people on Earth.
  • We were joined by dozens of faith leaders, who came to support this message of enhanced civics and substantive policy for a livable world.
  • Pope Francis released his Encyclical Laudato Si: On caring for our common home 5 days before we went to the Hill.
  • On the morning of our Lobby Day, the Lancet released a comprehensive public health study that calls for pricing carbon as necessary to protect human health from now on.
  • And, in one Republican office after another, we heard the message: we get the science; we want to talk about solutions.

Continue reading “CCL2015: Full Conference Report”

Earth Day Comment: We are Living the Transition

We are now living in the beginning of a period of global transition. Over the next two decades we will be rebuilding the infrastructure of our civilization. We could choose to replace existing infrastructure with something similar, but slightly newer and more expensive… or we could choose to build the economy of the future. There’s no question about which is a better investment.

As we come to grips with the mounting costs of inefficient outdated technologies, we are beginning to see the unprecedented economic incentive for moving swiftly to redesign the built environment that we inhabit. The amount of energy trapped in hydrocarbon molecules deep underground is minuscule in comparison to the amount of solar energy that lands on the surface of the Earth and the resulting kinetic energy that moves around our planet all day, every day.

Continue reading “Earth Day Comment: We are Living the Transition”

Citizens Climate Lobby: A Peaceful Army of Citizens Doing Good

It is my great privilege to be working for Citizens Climate Lobby. After four years volunteering with this tremendous family of committed, engaged citizens, all collaborating to ensure a safe, secure climate future, through genuine democratic process, this month I was hired as Strategic Coordinator. I don’t think it would be possible to find a more rewarding and inspired group of people to work with on a day to day basis, and the work itself allows me the blessed experience of using my abilities to help others to be the constructive future-builders they long to be.

Continue reading “Citizens Climate Lobby: A Peaceful Army of Citizens Doing Good”

You Already Pay a Carbon Tax

…to the oil companies.

20131227-160229.jpg

[ The Note for December 2013 ]

It is estimated that nearly $5 trillion per year is spent to support the fossil fuel industry globally by governments (in the form of subsidies, tax credits and other industry support spending) and through hidden “externalized” costs paid by governments and consumers alike (some from health, some from degradation of vital natural resources, some from political and economic turbulence, disruption and waste). It costs a lot of money to make fossil fuels appear to be a “low-cost” way to make historic profits and provide energy. You are paying that hidden carbon tax every day, as part of the cost of almost everything you do.

Continue reading “You Already Pay a Carbon Tax”

Building a Green Economy: a Talk at Columbia University

20131107-153019.jpg

Building a Green Economy

How to Avert Extreme Carbon Asset Risk, Price Carbon Affordably & Achieve Climate Resiliency

7:45 pm – 9:45 pm
Monday, November 11, 2013
Columbia University

Faculty House
Presidential Room
64 Morningside Drive
New York, NY 10027

>>> Click here to register – It’s free

Due to the urgent need for the United States to respond to the escalating crisis in global climate destabilization, Organizing for Action is hosting action and education events around the country this month, and has invited Joseph Robertson—author of Building a Green Economy: On the Economics of Carbon Pricing & the Transition to Clean, Renewable Fuels, founder and president of Geoversiv Envisioning and a coordinating volunteer for the non-partisan Citizens Climate Lobby—to speak about carbon pricing policy and the emerging green economy.

Continue reading “Building a Green Economy: a Talk at Columbia University”

We know how to solve the climate crisis

While vested interests push risky schemes like the Keystone XL pipeline, which will gravely exacerbate the climate destabilization we already face, global human industry has now pushed atmospheric CO2 concentrations to 400 ppm, 50% above the norm for almost all of the history of our species.

We need to change course and organize our relationship to Earth’s life support systems more intelligently. We not only know how to do set in motion this global transition; we know how to do it affordably, with no cost to taxpayers, no expansion of government, and a vast expansion of private capital investment in middle-class job creation and new technologies.

Continue reading “We know how to solve the climate crisis”

Carbon Fee and Dividend: to Spur Job Creation, Industrial Boom

Feedividendjustice-640x392

Carbon → Fee → Dividend → Simple

  •    Fee on carbon-emitting fuels, at the source (mine, well, port of entry)
  •    100% of revenues returned, in equal shares, to every household, every month
  •    Non-protectionist border adjustment, to ensure level playing field
  •    Power over energy economy returned to consumers
  •    Major energy-sector investment flows to clean, renewable resources

The conventional wisdom on action to reduce carbon emissions is that it must be expensive, harmful to the economy, and result in less productive power generation. This is a blatant falsehood based on the outmoded idea that combustion is the most favorable way to harvest energy. All systems of carbon taxation or carbon emissions capping operate on the principle that applying economic pressure in a targeted way can inspire markets to change their behavior. This is the very logic of market-based economic systems.

Continue reading “Carbon Fee and Dividend: to Spur Job Creation, Industrial Boom”