On Monday April 1, 2013 at 7pm at the Thayer Public Library, Sustainable Braintree’s Energy Task Force will host a presentation by Gary Rucinski, of the Citizens Climate Lobby, a non-profit group whose mission is ‘to create the political will for a stable climate’.
Doubt among the general public over the existence human-caused global warming seems to be finally on the decline. The disinformation and denial that arose in 2008 and 2009, funded in part by the fossil fuel industry is waning in substance and fervor. More and more people are coming to the realization that the human species is indeed having an effect on our planet Earth. As good as all of this is, unfortunately, it is taking actual climate change to convince people of its existence.
We can see from satellite imagery that arctic ice is melting at alarming rates. Mainstream media, long silent on the issue, is beginning to connect the dots between climate change and the super droughts and super storms that are costing billions of dollars and countless human lives. Study after study is showing that not only were the early hypotheses correct but the climate-altering effects of global warming are occurring much earlier and much faster than predicted. And just this month reports from NOAA indicate that as our economy has begun to recover from its recession, our carbon dioxide emissions (largely the result of burning fossil fuels like coal, oil and natural gas) are rising at an increasing rate.
With climate change already upon us, we need to act swiftly if we hope to maintain the balance of the planet that we know and love today. The slow and, for the most part, ineffectual actions that have been taken by the US government in particular will not be strong enough to enact the change we need.
In his 2009 book, ‘Storms of My Grandchildren’, James Hansen, the head of NASA’s Goddard Institute outlined his beliefs on how to solve the climate crisis. Dr. Hansen, a nearly life-long Republican who is skeptical of cap and trade, outlined the idea of a carbon tax that would be levied at the point of fuel extraction (e.g. at the oil well), and then re-distributed back to the American people as a rebate. A system of this type would certainly begin to address the fact that we allow the fossil fuel industry to use our atmosphere as a dump totally free of charge. It would make fossil fuels less lucrative for energy producers. It would also provide a more level playing field for emerging renewable energies that currently have to compete in a market tailored to fossil fuel industry, with their mega-dollars and powerful lobbying network. Similar carbon tax measures have been proposed in congress in the past by both Republicans (Rep. Bob Inglis (R) – SC) and Democrats (Rep. John Larsen (D) - CT) to no avail. If only there was a group willing to lobby for climate protection measures to counter the vast lobbying of the fossil fuel industry.
The Citizens Climate Lobby is that very group. During the presentation on April 1, Mr. Rucinski will talk about how human activity is causing climate change and what needs to be done to stop it. The material will cover a range of topics from the pro’s and con’s of subsidies and tax breaks, to an explanation of cap and trade vs. carbon fee and dividend. There will also be a discussion of what the Citizens Climate Lobby has, is and will be doing and how members of the audience can help. The ideas offered by the Citizens Climate Lobby are simple, shovel-ready and have the potential to bridge the political divide on this very important issue.
Please join us on Monday April 01, 2013 at 7 pm in the Thayer Public Library’s Logan Auditorium for what promises to be an informative and inspiring discussion.
Refreshments will be served.
Michael P. Cavanaugh is a member of Sustainable Braintree, Inc., and is the chair of its Energy Task Force. For more info please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.