The CCL is a lobbying group, with an interesting take on the process; rather than fund-raise to pay professional lobbyists to campaign for climate change action on the Hill, they train citizens to lobby members of congress from their own states and districts. The idea is that, by putting organized and coordinated pressure on politicians, directly from members of their constituencies, it is possible to go toe-to-toe with the sort of immense monetary resources fossil fuel lobbies can throw into the fight. I'm dubious about that, since I'm infinitely cynical about how congresspersons are bought and paid for, but the CCL has won some encouraging victories in state level battles.
Currently, they are advocating for H.R. 3242, the "Save Our Climate Act," introduced to the House by Pete Stark (D-CA) last October. The act would initiate a "carbon fee and dividend" mechanism, whereby producers or importers of fossil fuels pay a flat fee per ton of potential green house gasses that fuel would emit when burned (in terms of CO2 equivalents); 100% of the proceeds from this fee, initially proposed to be $15 per ton CO2 equivalent, would be passed on to US citizens as a dividend. This will supposedly offset the increase in energy costs for about 2/3 of US families, and will reduce the consumption of fossil fuels by making alternative sources more competitive. It's an interesting approach, less likely to be abused by the tertiary economy than "cap and trade" systems that SCREAM for speculation. It still does nothing to directly force the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, though, and the CCL bases their alternative power scenarios on a study by Marc Jacobson of Stanford University that they claim shows that alternative power sources can fully replace fossil fuels in the modern industrial economy. I think that is entirely too optimistic, but I'm not familiar with Jacobson's work. Expect an analysis of that study in another post soon!
Regardless of my reservations, the CCL is a rapidly growing, grass-roots climate initiative that refuses to give up on a governmental intervention on the climate change predicament. And most impressive to me is this quote from their website:
Most impressive is the work of the Citizens Climate Lobby, a relatively new, fastgrowing, nonpartisan, nonprofit group with 46 chapters across the United States and Canada. If you want to join the fight to save the planet, to save creation for your grandchildren, there is no more effective step you could take than becoming an active member of this group. - Dr. James HansenDr. Hansen is arguably the foremost world expert on the science of climate change, and he has been fighting out fight for over 25 years. If his praise for the Citizens Climate Lobby is that luminescent, I'll be paying attention to them, and I recommend that you do so as well!