Fresh Ideas: Citizens Climate Lobby starting in Carson City | NevadaAppeal.com

Fresh Ideas: Citizens Climate Lobby starting in Carson City

Anne Macquarie

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According to the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication, 64 percent of Nevada residents think global warming is happening, and 50 percent think it's caused by human activities. Seventy-six percent of Nevadans support regulating CO2 as a pollutant, and a whopping 78 percent think research into renewable energy technologies should be funded.

A consensus about climate change is emerging in the state. In Carson City, a group of people are working hard to translate that consensus into action by starting a local branch of the Citizens Climate Lobby.

Citizens' Climate Lobby is a non-partisan national group with 257 chapters around the country, working toward global warming solutions by empowering citizens to speak directly to their representatives in Congress. They are working to get bi-partisan sponsorship of a bill that would create a fee on carbon dioxide emissions at the source. But they are also focused on empowering regular people to make contact with their political representatives of both parties.

I asked Janet Melander, one of the Carson group's organizers about the fee on carbon dioxide emissions.

She said a carbon fee would be collected at the point the carbon source (oil or coal) enters the market.

By gradually making fossil fuels more expensive, it would make it more attractive to invest in non-carbon-based energy sources.

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The best part — and the part I think would appeal to Nevadans — is none of the fee would go to pay for government programs: 100 percent of the fee would be distributed to citizens.

Janet told me if Citizens Climate Lobby chapter is started in Carson City, it would be Nevada's first chapter, though an enthusiastic group has just started in Tahoe. The first free volunteer training session is Saturday, and anyone interested is invited. The meeting will be Saturday, April 18, 1 to 4 p.m., at Grandma Hattie's Restaurant, 2811 South Carson St. For more information, email Janet msmelander@gmail.com, or check out the Facebook page, "Carson City Citizens Climate Lobby."

Janet says she likes the training and support from CCL in how to contact and meet your representatives, and she's already organized a meeting with Sen. Dean Heller's staff in Washington. Janet says, "I think we are at a turning point with some members of Congress wanting to address global warming issues. It's important for them to hear from their actual constituents to know there is support for that."

And as the Yale poll shows, there is indeed support in Nevada for mitigating climate change. Can the impasse in Congress be broken? Our future depends on it.

Anne Macquarie blogs about clean energy and climate change in Nevada at nevadanscleanenergy.org.

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