Morristown volunteers lobby Washington to act on climate change

Gary Schneider, co-leader, Citizens Climate Lobby, Morristown chapter.
Gary Schneider, co-leader, Citizens Climate Lobby, Morristown chapter.


From the Morristown chapter of the Citizens Climate Lobby:

Responding to climate-related disasters, local volunteers call for action by Congress


After a summer filled with disasters made worse by a warming world, four members of the Morristown chapter of Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL) — Gary Schneider, Richard Larsen, Thomas Howe, and Stephen Carroll– traveled to Washington DC this week to join with nearly 600 volunteers pressing Congress to enact policies that reduce the future risks of climate change.

“We had a major wake-up call with Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria,” said Richard Larsen, New Jersey District 11 Congressional Liaison for the Montclair and Morristown chapters of CCL.

“These storms were bigger and more powerful because of climate change. Scientists tell us we can expect worse in the future if we do not reduce the amount of heat-trapping gases we spew into our atmosphere. The extra energy and humidity can also intensify ordinary thunderstorms.  Higher intensity rainfall has been observed across the Northeast, including Morris County.” 

In Washington, the four Morristown CCL volunteers attended a training session on Nov. 13, 2017, and then went to Capitol Hill on Nov. 14 to meet with Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-11th Dist.)

They asked for Congressional support of a carbon-pricing system known as Carbon Fee and Dividend. This policy places a steadily-rising fee on the carbon-dioxide content of fossil fuels, creating the economic incentive to accelerate transition to cleaner energy and transportation.

Revenue from the carbon fee would be returned to all households in equal shares, thereby shielding families from the economic impact of rising energy costs associated with the fee.

“We think this is the solution that both Democrats and Republicans can support,” said CCL Executive Director Mark Reynolds.

“In particular, Republicans will find this proposal appealing because it relies on the power of the free market rather than regulations to achieve its goals. Returning all the money to households, making it revenue-neutral, prevents it from making the government bigger.”

One encouraging development for climate legislation is the formation and growth of the bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus in the House of Representatives, which now has 60 members: 30 Republicans and 30 Democrats.

“It’s time for Republicans and Democrats to set aside their differences and address the climate problem head on,” said Morristown CCL Chapter Co-leader Gary Schneider.

“If they don’t, we’ll reach a point where we are unable to adapt to the changes that are happening.”  

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  1. The Sustainable movement in Morristown began in 1845, when George Vail became concerned about the future of Morristown and began to convert his family’s industrial complex to a sustainable landscape and choose a sustainable design for his new home. His property remains to this day, serving as an example of what is possible. Now the home of the Passaic River Coalition at 330 Speedwell Ave., it continues to share his legacy with the public while promoting a sustainable future.

  2. Yes! Why even bother with the paid deniers and front groups who thrive creating the delay of a false climate debate?

    A revenue neutral carbon fee with a dividend, makes enormous sense (cents, too)! !
    Economists and scientists say it is the best way to create healthy and safe communities. It is not a tax. This way citizens would RECEIVE the carbon fees as a monthly check, for example. That would protect us from price spikes in dirty energy.

    Polluters PAY the fees, so it holdsfossil fuel corporations responsible for the damages. or “externalities”, they cause, hundreds of billions of dollars per year (Harvard School of Medicine).
    It would more rapidly limit further pollution than by regulations alone, as happened in BC Canada with a similar, popular policy. BC lowered emissions and also lowered taxes with their fees.
    A study by respected non-partisan Regional Economic Modeling, Inc. found the dividends would help to create 2.9 million additional jobs in 20 years, while reducing carbon emissions 50% in that time, as fees stimulate low carbon technologies .

    To those who reject the science: perhaps nothing will change your mind. But what have you got against cleaner air, less asthma in our kids, fewer heart attacks, and more money (the dividend) in your pockets?
    To those accepting the science: Any effort to
 limit the problem of climate trauma is worth it. For example: the cost of sea level rise ALONE is so great that no effort to prevent it is unwarranted.

    Elon Musk was asked “what can we do? ” Musk: “I would say whenever you have the opportunity, talk to the politicians.,,,,. We have to fix the unpriced externality [social cost]. I would talk to your friends about it and fight the propaganda from the carbon industry.”


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