Vail Daily letter: Citizens Climate Lobby supports ‘carbon dividends’ |

Vail Daily letter: Citizens Climate Lobby supports ‘carbon dividends’

Several days ago, the Vail Daily published a letter titled “Consider ‘carbon dividends’ to remedy climate change,” by Ms. Lynn Goldfarb. I would like to commend her for her clear presentation of the advantages of carbon dividends as one solution to address climate change and support a transition to a sustainable economy. Carbon dividends would grease the wheel for many other efforts, both individual and collective, such as Eagle County’s Climate Action Plan.

In her letter, Ms. Goldfarb notes that this solution has bipartisan support in Congress. As an Independent, with Democratic tendencies, I will vouch that bipartisan support extends well beyond Congress. In other words, do not ignore this solution just because many Republicans endorse it.

I became interested in carbon dividends a few years ago. One of the key selling points for me was that this was a solution that held bipartisan support. Congress, bipartisan cooperation, meaningful action on climate change — this does sound like the perfect gridlock. And it is no wonder that many people, including myself, felt powerless.

The negativity of our recent presidential election did nothing to ease my anxiety about climate change. So, I made a decision to virtually ignore the election and focus on something positive and meaningful that I could do.

Several years ago, I had been introduced to Citizens Climate Lobby, which is an organization of volunteers who work to create the political will to pass legislation on carbon dividends. Volunteers are primarily Democrats who are willing to forge constructive working relationships with all members of Congress.

Committing my energy has meant learning to write my members of Congress, writing letters to the editor, educating myself and even agreeing to be the “anchor” for Citizens Climate Lobby in Eagle County. These actions, particularly the last one, are most definitely outside of my old box. For me, the key to commitment was to learn to set the bar low enough to begin to feel some success. This process has become transformative, bringing a new sense of strength and integrity to my life.

I will second the advice given by Lynn Goldfarb. The TED talk she referenced is an excellent introduction to carbon dividends provided by Ted Halstead. Information can also be found online.

One point that I would like to clarify is the following: To my knowledge, there are two carbon dividend plans. The Climate Leadership Council, an international organization of conservatives, has presented one to Congress. Members include Republican “elders.” Citizens Climate Lobby is advocating the second.

Both plans rely upon similar elements to get the market to address the hidden costs of burning fossil fuels. Both plans allow for a gradual transition. Both plans pay a dividend to the consumer. And both plans reduce the need for extensive regulation and litigation. Space prevents me from going into further details.

If this is a solution that you find viable, I also encourage you to contact your member of Congress.

Pamela Gibbs


Support Local Journalism