We hear a lot these days about how ‘big money’ is influencing Congress and how it is getting worse. According to the New York Times, the Koch Bros., alone intend on spending close to $900 million in the upcoming 2016 elections. And because we live in a time when money is speech, at least in the Supreme Court’s opinion, the influence of money in politics is unlikely to change anytime soon.
It’s an odd thing isn’t it? Because what the Supreme Court essentially said is that those who have more money have more freedom of speech than the most of us who do not. I’m not convinced that is what the founders had in mind.
But money goes only so far. In the end, what politicians really need are votes.
So what would happen if someone came along with an idea that would be a game changer in reducing carbon emissions, and something that every U.S. citizen wants, and something that has bi-partisan support?
That’s what the Citizen’s Climate Lobby is working on with their ‘Carbon Fee and Dividend’ proposal.
In a nutshell, the way ‘Carbon Fee and Dividend’ works is that it places a fee on carbon emissions, the fee is collected and then those revenues are divided up giving 100% back to all citizens equally. That’s right… the money doesn’t go into the federal budget for Congress to pick winners and losers, it goes right back to you and me. Money that can go toward those piano lessons you’ve cut back on for your kids. Money that can go toward making ends meet during a tight month. Money that can go toward supporting the local economy with dinner out with the family.
A poll taken last year by Center for Local, State, and Urban Policy at the Gerald R. Ford
School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan and the Muhlenberg Institute of Public Opinion at Muhlenberg College, measured the degree of support for “a policy to reduce greenhouse gases by taxing carbon-based fuels such as coal, oil, and natural gas at the federal level.”
The study asked people about a number of different kinds of plans for achieving this. When a ‘revenue neutral’ plan (in which all of the revenues collected from carbon fees are returned to the public) was proposed, support went up significantly compared with questions about it being a carbon tax. When the survey suggested that consumers receive a rebate check, overall support rose to 56% with the most significant gain among respondents who indicated they identify as being Republican, going from 15% where no specific use was suggested to 43% support when tied to a rebate check.
The Citizen’s Climate Lobby ‘Carbon Fee & Dividend’ plan has universal appeal, here’s why:
[Tweet “The @citizensclimate Fee & Dividend CO2 reduction plan has universal appeal! #climatechange”]
Here’s a video that describes the Carbon Fee and Dividend proposal and how the Citizen’s Climate Lobby is going about getting it passed.
At their web site, the Citizen’s Climate Lobby has a detailed explanation of what their proposal entails including a Frequently Asked Questions section which you will want to check out as well as a copy of their proposal.
I do believe that the most pressing concern humanity faces today is climate change and that we must act now in curbing carbon emissions. The Citizen’s Climate Lobby is a non-profit, non-partisan, and grassroots advocacy organization – volunteers taking the time and effort to address this concern with a plan that will work for everyone.
Yes, the process does take time and effort to get everyone informed and on board with a plan that will impact every molecule of carbon being released into the air. The Citizen’s Climate Lobby is well organized. It is composed of individual volunteers working together through local chapters to meet and talk with their representatives. And they are making significant progress in building momentum. In 2010, they had 106 meetings with members of Congress. Last year they had 1086 meetings.
Former NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies and current Director of the Climate Science, Awareness and Solutions program at The Earth Institute at Columbia University, Dr. James Hansen has stated, “Most impressive is the work of Citizens’ Climate Lobby…. If you want to join the fight to save the planet, to save creation for your grandchildren, there is no more effective step you could take than becoming an active member of this group.”
Congress recently decided that climate change is not real. It is a sad and rather ludarcis conclusion they have made because science knows better than Congress. And so do we – climate change is real and our carbon emissions by burning fossil fuels are the culprit. But we can do something about it because we, the people, have a greater power than all the money in the world to get legislation passed to support the Carbon Fee and Dividend’ plan. We have our votes.
> > >See Related Story: US Energy Use and Carbon Emissions Increasing