By Scott Olney
Citizens Climate Lobby held their first meeting in the Pounds Lounge on Tuesday evening. Citizens Climate Lobby (CCL) is an international organization dedicated to improving relations between concerned citizens and political representatives. Though the organization was started in the United States in 2007, it has reached an international status and has branches in Brazil, Canada, Europe and parts of Africa.
Dr. Rick Cowlishaw facilitated the meeting on Tuesday evening. He believes that it is important for people to know that CCL is not pushing for political solutions to climate change, but rather changes that affect the marketplace directly, thus keeping political bias out of the equation.
“Humans have not had to pay for the full effect of fossil fuels on the environment,” said Cowlishaw. “We take a very appreciative and respectful approach to introducing government leaders to the idea of a marketplace solution.”
The marketplace solution that CCL is proposing is a tax on the use of fossil fuels in the marketplace. Then citizens would receive a monthly dividend check to offset any changes in prices of goods that use fossil fuels. This tax would incentivize moving towards solutions that do not use fossil fuels. The proposal would not only help reduce the amount of carbon emissions, but it would also provide a major boost to the economy with more jobs and more money in the hands of consumers.
There were several SC students at attendance at the meeting. Logan Weppler has appreciated the opportunities that he has had to reach out to leaders about his views on climate change.
“I was able to write a letter to Senator Jerry Moran and he actually responded back to me,” said Weppler. “His response felt genuine and he said that he believed that natural resources should be a priority to all.”
“The number of college students involved in CCL has skyrocketed which is good because leaders listen to them,” said Cowlishaw. “They hear from people like me all the time. College students are more effective at communicating with leaders and really, it make sense because this program is really what SC is all about in regards to outreach and community.”
Scott Olney is a senior majoring in Liberal Arts. You may email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.