Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Shout-out to our Republican Members of Congress

This appeared as a letter-to-the-editor in the Asheville Citizen-Times on June 20, 2017:

I’m writing to give a huge shout-out to Congressmen Mark Meadows and Patrick McHenry, and Senators Thom Tillis and Richard Burr, and their Washington staffs. I was fortunate to travel to DC recently with ten other Asheville-area residents, all volunteers with the nonpartisan Citizens’ Climate Lobby.
Along with more than a thousand other volunteers from around the country, we descended upon Capitol Hill on June 13 to lobby for our market-based, revenue-neutral proposal of carbon pricing that would send a monthly dividend check to American households. If the CCL proposal were enacted at the federal level, studies show that climate-altering greenhouse gas emissions would be significantly reduced — more so than with an enactment of the regulatory Clean Power Plan — and that the U.S. economy would improve, with jobs created and growth in GDP, along with decreasing national security threats.
Our Republican leaders and their staffs were happy to engage with us in respectful dialogue about our proposal to address climate change, which would help transition us towards renewable energy systems and improved energy efficiency. But you don’t have to take my word for it — please call their offices and see for yourself.
Michael Hill, Asheville

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Working towards climate change solutions: Why do we do what we do?

I'm at the Citizens' Climate Lobby national meeting in Washington, DC, which runs today (Sunday) through Tuesday, including lobbying our members of Congress on Tuesday. I plan to make a few posts during my stay here, between meetings and presentations.

We were greeted this morning at 9:00 a.m. with a rousing performance by the Howard University Gospel Choir--"When the Saints Go Marching In," and "Hold On, Change is Coming, You Can Make It." A thousand people in attendance stood and clapped, an uplifting beginning, to be sure.

CCL Executive Director Mark Reynolds had the opening remarks. One question he asked us to answer for a neighbor or two was, "Why are you here?" Basically, why are you choosing to work with CCL to affect change?

A few answers from nearby:

  • "The climate deserves the very best we have to give."
  • "For biodiversity ... for all the plants and animals of the world."
  • "For the most vulnerable among us ... for the people of the world who'll not be able to pick up and move if it is too hot or dry or the sea levels rise to far ... who'll not be able to simply crank up the A/C or drive to the supermarket for food. (This was my answer.)
  • "For all the children and our grandchildren across the globe."
Mark showed a video of his two-year-old grandson. Little Elliott was standing seaside, squealing with joy as he ran towards the incoming water. What shear joy he showed! I know that this is how Harper sees the world, and how Claire and Aggie have also seen it, and still do from time to time. THAT'S why we are doing what we are doing.

What do you think? Why is this a worthy cause? Why should we work to engage every member of Congress to implement a carbon fee and dividend plan that will lead to lower emissions and a quicker transition to a zero carbon future? Why talk, write, call about climate change? What do you value most in the world?