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February 28, 2013

Haven’t heard of the Citizens Climate Lobby? Join the Club!

In thinking about climate change as a large jigsaw puzzle, in which it makes less sense to argue about “THE” one thing we need to do than to recognize the importance of many efforts that can contribute to the success of the larger puzzle, we’re always looking for new puzzle pieces.  Six months ago a friend made the bold statement that “the only NGO doing really interesting work on climate change is the Citizens Climate Lobby (CCL).” Intrigued (I’d never heard of the Citizens Climate Lobby), I looked for information about this group.  They come well-recommended, as it turns out; see, for example, this endorsement by Dr. James Hansen:

“Most impressive is the work of Citizens Climate Lobby, a relatively new, fastgrowing, nonpartisan, nonprofit group with 60 chapters across the United States and Canada. 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.”

– Dr. James Hansen, head of Goddard Institute for Space Studies, NASA

The CCL is a grass-roots group that focuses its efforts entirely on promoting a carbon tax and dividend strategy at the federal level.  Without getting into prevailing views of the politics and prospects of a national carbon tax, and recognizing that many will disagree with some aspects of the CCL’s message, the CCL is certainly an interesting part of the climate jigsaw puzzle.

What I find most intriguing about the CCL is that it’s now 6 years old – and I can’t find anyone who has ever heard of it.  I’ve asked at least a couple of dozen long-time climate change colleagues.  One principle of The Climatographers is that the more pieces of the climate jigsaw puzzle we know about and support (recognizing that people may differ on whether the puzzle pieces are the “right” pieces), the faster we’ll be able to build the puzzle. In that spirit, check out the CCL. Hopefully, the CCL might think about how to reach out to the large numbers of people in other climate change networks who could support or add to the group’s effectiveness.

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