On Thursday, February 24, Citizens Climate Lobby launched a new campus chapter at Villanova University, outside of Philadelphia, then another in central New Jersey, at a working dinner in Fair Haven, Monmouth County. Mark Reynolds, executive director of CCL, led both events, giving volunteers an opportunity to examine both fact and strategy related to shaping a viable, grassroots-based policy to transition the US economy to clean energy.
The Villanova event was a working lunch, with students and faculty joining Mark Reynolds, to hold their first official group meeting, to study key sources of information relating to the climate destabilization crisis and reviewing projects like the Million Letter March, the report Building a Green Economy, and the CCL National Conference in Washington, DC, as means of increasing citizens’ access to the process of making policy.
The Fair Haven event allowed a core group of committed volunteers to not only review ideas and concepts related to the climate crisis, but to plan for meetings with Congressional aides and elected officials. This group will work on gathering new sources of information regarding the waning cost-efficiency of fossil fuels and the ongoing spread of alternative energy sources.
Citizens Climate Lobby is currently building up to its National Conference in Washington, DC, where the keynote speaker will be Dr. James Hansen, of NASA, widely considered to be the world’s leading climate scientist. Dr. Hansen has expressed support [pdf] for CCL’s legislative proposal relating to carbon pricing and easing the transition to clean energy sources for American consumers and businesses.
Both the Villanova and New Jersey chapters of CCL will be working to call new volunteers from their communities to action, to help build the grassroots political support for substantive legislative action to reduce overall carbon-dioxide emissions and steer the American economy toward a clean energy standard that will:
- Eliminate our need for foreign oil
- Reduce the negative impact of our industrial, commercial and travel activity on the natural environment
- Draw a bright line between the need to produce energy and the right to pollute
- Stabilize our civilization’s relationship to global climate patterns
- Give the United States a bold leadership role in the worldwide clean energy revolution
- Steer our economic policy to a program of job creation more vast than any since World War II industrial production
It seems at times like a lofty, even otherworldly aim, to “save the planet” from the worst practices of our industrial economy. But there are a few key points to keep in mind:
- The clean energy revolution has begun; the pioneers will profit the most from staking their claim on that new industrial economy
- By changing the attitude of human beings, and of human society broadly, we can change what we do to the environment
- We know how to do this and have the technology; we just need to stop spending on outdated business models and dirty resources
- Clean energy and energy efficiency have the potential to support 37 million jobs across the US economy: this is good for everyone
We often feel trapped by our civilization’s pervasive dependence on carbon-based fuels; the landscape seems too vast and powerful interests too entrenched for any one of us to make a difference. But, the work of inviting, encouraging, signaling, celebrating and implementing the clean energy transition is joyous work; it is a celebration of what is best and most vibrant and capable in the human mind and heart.
Citizens Climate Lobby’s work is very much about that joyous approach to pioneering a world that works, without undermining the natural infrastructure that lets us savor what we love about life. 2011 promises to be a year of doing good work, and making real progress across the continent, changing hearts and minds to make a new future possible.
Useful CCL links…
- CCL New Jersey Group
- Building a Green Economy report
- The Million Letter March
- Report on 2010 Conference
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