Today we heard from Jim Vogt of Citizens Climate Lobby, a growing organization with roughly 6600 current members. Their purpose is to create the political will for a sustainable climate and to empower individuals to have breakthroughs in exercising their personal and political power. They are a non-partisan group advocating a revenue-neutral, free-market carbon tax to fight climate change. This group is filled with non-paid lobbyists that trains members to speak powerfully to their elected officials, the media and their local communities. Their Cincinnati chapter meets monthly and teams provide each other with support and encourage breaking through comfort zones to act as community leaders.
CCL members meet with their members of congress, launch letter-writing campaigns, write letters to the editor and op-ed pieces, work with editorial boards to generate editorials and give presentations to community groups. In 2013 the organization has had 709 meetings with congressional offices, met with 46 newspaper editorial boards, generated 41 editorials and published 1265 letters to the editor.
In 2014, CCL grew from 151 to 193 chapters, covering 364 of 465 congressional districts. The Cincinnati chapter grew in size from 12 to 18 members. 600 members attended the annual conference in DC.
The culture of CCL is non-confrontational, non-partisan and always looking for common ground. They try to be gentle, persistent and persuasive as “loving bulldogs” and will talk to anyone (such as staffers and interns). The group builds political will by getting as many as possible to learn of and think about their ideas.
The basic idea with Carbon tax is...a tax is placed on carbon-based fuels at the source (well, mine, port of entry). This tax starts at $15 per ton of fossil CO2 emitted, and increases steadily over the years so that clean energy becomes cheaper than fossil fuels. All the money collected is returned to American households on an equitable basis. ⅔ of American break-even or come out ahead.
Find out more about this group at http://citizensclimatelobby.org/
Next week we will have our student of the month presentations.