The greenhouse effect is a simple chemical reality: carbon compounds in the atmosphere trap heat, like a greenhouse roof. At … Continue reading Climate Change is an Existential Threat & We Can Solve It
There is only one part of President Trump’s agenda with real opportunity for a big win, right now, and that … Continue reading Future of American Infrastructure Hinges on Paris Agreement
Originally published April 28, 2017, by ICLEI USA Throughout the 21st century, cities are likely to be more and more … Continue reading Non-Partisan Citizen Empowerment is Working
by Joseph Robertson and David Thoreson
Published in The Guardian, June 6, 2016
The climate system is a unifying ethical field that extends from the physical to the metaphysical and connects your actions to my well-being, and vice-versa, no matter how remote your life is from mine. The Golden Rule we have always treated as an abstract moral recommendation is now visibly playing out its logic in the physical world.
This period in history must be about useful innovations that rescue Earth systems from collapse and dignify human beings everywhere. We must dare to imagine, explore, and remake the limits of our experience, together.
The ACCESS to GOOD Project is an open, collaborative, ongoing reporting process, aiming to identify observable levers of action for adding value, momentum, and scope to investments in climate action and resilient human development.
ACCESS is a framework for analyzing the level of progress on comprehensive climate action. The axis standard aims to measure six qualifications of public policy, investment prioritization and business action:
GOOD is a framework for analyzing the generative tendencies, inclucing community-building reinforcements and local value added of day to day economic activity, at the human scale. This analysis operates on the premise that all economic behavior has at its roots a basic and specific demand for generative optimizing capabilities operating organically through routine human behavior.
by Joseph Robertson and David Thoreson Published in The Guardian, February 12, 2016 On December 12, the 21st annual meeting of … Continue reading Welcome to the New Age of Climate Exploration
Australian PM Tony Abbott, who dismantled a policy to price carbon, rose to power by attacking and dividing—a strategy that … Continue reading Why Climate Action Opponent Tony Abbott was Ousted
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.
[ The Note for December 2014 ]
Politics is hard. Making policy that appeals to a wide range of political actors, stakeholders, and related interests, is by some people’s estimation functionally impossible. But at the heart of every legitimate political endeavor, there is the core insight that in its most expansive sense, what is of real interest to humanity anywhere is of real interest to humanity everywhere. We are connected by certain shared truths. We require certain sustenance to facilitate our survival, and we are all vulnerable to the forces of nature and of human violence. We have a transcendent, reciprocal interest in humane policy processes that protect life-giving systems. Working with people of all views and from around the world, on something as complex as climate, I have witnessed firsthand to what degree respect is the most effective strategy for building up the possibility of effective outcomes.
[ The Note for October 2014 ]
For most of the history of our species, we were hunter-gatherers. We could not store large stocks of resources. Social groups were small, defined by the range individuals within that small group were able to cover, in search of sustenance. We formed microcultures that left little in the way of permanent record. Knowledge expanded slowly. Scarcity remained the rule for human societies, even as agriculture took over, and cities grew, and urban civilization spread across the world. The few that were able to control the structures that establish and reinforce what we call society have been able to enjoy abundance, without allowing everyone else into that enjoyment. Perpetual scarcity, then, appeared to be an organizing principle, though it was more an illusion than a fact of life on Earth.