The front page headline of the newspaper on Nov. 24: “Climate Report: Disasters Worsen.” Many of us quickly turned to the sports page to read about the Civil War football game. Those who did read this article likely read two more pieces on climate disasters on the last page. My question is: “what did you do?” Typical action: read headlines to stay superficially informed as to not appear ignorant, move on. Ignore the big problems and live with anxiety, insomnia, and helplessness.
I invite you to experiment with a different approach. Engage and act. The rewarding work of Citizens' Climate Lobby is bearing fruit. On Nov. 27, Republicans (Brian Fitzpatrick and Francis Rooney), joined with Democrats (Ted Deutch, Charlie Crist, John Delaney), to propose national legislation to drastically decrease greenhouse gas emissions. This is based on the Citizens' Climate Lobby proposal that puts a fee on greenhouse gas emissions and returns these fees as dividends to all households on a monthly basis. Models indicate that almost two-thirds of citizens will receive more money in their dividend than they pay for increased prices on high carbon footprint goods while drastically decreasing greenhouse gas emissions.
The Citizens' Climate Lobby has made a major impact, but needs more people to lobby their representatives so this legislation passes. We meet at 5 p.m. the second Thursday of each month at the north First Alternative Co-op meeting room in Corvallis. Come and help lobby Peter DeFazio, Jeff Merkeley, Ron Wyden and others in Congress to support this legislation.
Mark Van Steeter
Corvallis (Nov. 28)