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.”