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Citizens’ Climate Lobby and 350ooc address climate change
April 16 @ 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
Carbon tax and revenue distribution on agenda
NEWPORT — Environmental advocacy group 350occ and the local Climate Control Lobby will be joining forces to address issues that impact the region.
“We’re trying to figure out how we can work together to address the issues of climate change as they affect the Oregon coast,” said Martin Desmond, co-organizer for the Newport group of the Citizens’ Climate Lobby, in a Thursday, March 29 interview.
The groups are holding an open meeting at the Newport Public Library in the downstairs conference room on April 16 at 6:30 p.m.
CCL is a national organization started in October 2007 to “create the political will for climate solutions by enabling individual breakthroughs in the exercise of personal and political power,” according to its website. Their big push is for “Carbon Fee and Dividend” legislation, which would tax carbon at $15 a ton and an additional $10 every subsequent year. Revenue would be paid out to citizens as dividends.
The Newport group of CCL organized in January to, among other projects, support that legislation in Oregon.
“That’s probably going to be one of the primary issues CCL and 350occ.org, and more groups, are going to be working on this year,” Desmond said, “getting this set up so that when the session comes back in 2019, it’ll be ready.”
He and a friend did the math and estimate that a $15-per-ton carbon tax would increase the cost of gasoline about by about $0.15 a gallon. In Oregon, the bill was presented during the short legislative session but did not pass.
350occ was started by Bill Kucha about a year ago. At that time his intent was to do the initial organization of the group then step out of the spotlight. Cyndi Karp will be taking over as 350occ chair.
The founding enterprise, 350.org, is a network active in 188 countries “building a global climate movement,” states its website. The group’s name stems from the safe limit of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, 350 parts per million. The name of 350occ applies to the group’s Oregon Central Coast chapter.
Along with working for Carbon Fee and Dividend legislation, 350occ has brought many issues and guest speakers to Lincoln County to discuss things like electric vehicles, divestment, methane and fracked gas, and renewable energy. They endorse The Declaration of Human Rights and Climate Change, “Reaffirming the universality, indivisibility, interdependence and interrelationality of all human rights, the interrelationality of all life on Earth and the dependency of all life on Earth on a healthy biosphere and Earth system integrity,” and are “Convinced that the potential irreversibility of climate change effects gives rise to an urgent need for new forms of state and non-state responsibility, accountability and liability.”
Concerns specific to Lincoln County are ocean acidification and the growing prevalence of wildfires.
“Ocean acidification is going to have a pretty serious impact on the fishing here; it’s going to have unknown impacts through time,” Desmond said. “It’s one of those issues that is quite significantly underestimated. It’s a fundamental impact on micro-organisms in the ocean, which has a significant impact on everything as you go up the food chain.”
As a young man, Desmond worked for the forest service on fire crews. “Back in the ‘70s and ‘80s, we’d paint buildings and stuff. Occasionally we’d go fight a fire. Now, with a shorter snowpack season, the forests are drying out more. Fires are getting more often and bigger, for instance the Brookings fire last summer. The severity of forest fires has been increasing, so that’s going to happen here, too.”
He said, “I think 30 or 40 years from now, future generations will realize we’ve go to do more than just change light bulbs in our houses.
350occ.org encourages people to get involved in the Drawdown EcoChallenge, “a 21-day engagement program focused on carbon reduction,” from April 4-25. Find out more at drawdown.ecochallenge.org/about/event
Source: Newport News Times