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Local Mr. Smith goes to Washington to talk climate change

Jasper resident Todd Smith, of Citizens Climate Lobby, with Rep. Tom Graves at his DC office.

Submitted by Citizens

Climate Lobby

Concerned that climate change is making the world unlivable, members of the Atlanta chapter of Citizens Climate Lobby traveled to Washington this week to ask members of Congress to put a price on carbon that would begin the transition away from fossil fuels.

Participants at the 2011 Citizens Climate Lobby International Conference in Washington say the flooding along the Mississippi and the increasing number of severe storms in recent months are an indication that we’re running out of time.

For decades, climate scientist have warned us that the warming of our atmosphere will increase the likelihood of severe weather events. “A warmer atmosphere holds more moisture, dries things out faster and holds more energy,” says Jasper resident Todd Smith a member of the Citizens Climate Lobby chapter of Atlanta.

The increased rate of severe weather events over the last few years simply validates what the scientists have been saying. What most people don’t realize is that along with changing our climate, the release of CO2 from the burning of fossil fuels is absorbed into our oceans making them more acidic. This increase acidity is threatening the coral reefs and small creatures that make up the base of the oceans food chain. The great news, Mr. Smith says, is that with the right legislation, we can protect both citizens and business from the price increases as we transition to a sustainable economy.  “At the same time we are addressing climate change, we can reduce our dependence on foreign oil, create jobs here in our communities, clean our air and water, and pass on a better world to our children.”

 

More than 80 volunteers traveled from as far away as Alaska and Canada to attend the CCL conference where they heard from renowned climate scientist Dr. James Hansen and visited more than 140 offices in the House and Senate.

Despite the prevailing view that legislation to stop climate change won’t be taken up in the current Congress, volunteers pressed on in their efforts with a legislative proposal to price carbon, known as carbon fee and dividend. The approach would place a steadily rising fee on carbon-based fuels, starting at $15 per ton of carbon dioxide, and return the revenue to all households in the form of monthly payments. The predictable price on carbon, CCL says, will send a clear signal to shift investments away from fossil fuels and toward clean energy and energy efficiency

 

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