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Fighting for the environment: Group unites to combat climate change

A group of local residents concerned about the possible impact of global warming has decided to more than talk about it — they want solutions.
And they think they have found it.
“Just talking about it doesn’t get anything done,” said Ed Wolff, a member of the local Citizens’ Climate Lobby, a national grassroots movement determined to find a solution to combat climate change.
That change, CCL members agree, involves empowering people from all walks of life to get involved in the fight.
Frances Lamberts, organizer of the local group, strongly believes in their cause, not only because of her concern for the environment, but also because it offers a direct, hands-on solution.
“Part of the idea is to get a group in each district,” Lamberts explained. “The goal is to have us help Congress to do the policies that will do something about climate change.”
She isn’t just talking about any “something.” Instead, CCL advocates a carbon fee and dividend that would results in customers making the choice on their own from a strictly financial perspective to limit fossil fuel use.
In essence, the tax would place a steadily rising fee on fossil fuel use, give all the revenue from the carbon fee back to American households, and provide border adjustments to discourage businesses from relocating.
Advocates insist that it would not only benefit the economy and climate, but it’s an option that is market based and consumer driven.
Lamberts isn’t the only supporter of this plan. The local CCL chapter features a retired Lutheran pastor, (Wolff), a farmer, a concerned mother and many more.
“I went to one of the meetings and listened a little while,” said Ed Bowman of Gray, a retired teacher who farms land that has been owned by his family for more than 200 years.
He came away from that meeting convinced.
Bowman’s perspective is agriculturally based. “I farm about 120 acres,” he explained. “We own about 40, and then mow hay and take care of another 80. I also raise beef cattle and sheep.
“Basically, I’m interested in providing food for the world. And I’m really concerned that if something doesn’t change that down the road there is going to be a very real problem.”
CCL’s solution, Bowman believes, will reduce the amount of carbon-based fuels being used, and that “just seems like the logical conclusion to the problem.”
He stays involved, he said, to help get the word out.
“My desire is that a lot more people get involved,” he said. “There are lots of ways we can reduce the use of carbon in our world, for example by using solar.
“I would also really like a lot more people to become aware of this organization. The more people we have, the more we can help and influence our congressmen.”
Wolff too is a strong supporter.
“Citizens’ Climate Lobby exists to develop the will of the people,” said Wolff, who admitted that his first thought when Lamberts approached him was, “Just what I need — another meeting!”
Now he is happy to save the first Saturday of every month for this purpose.
“If you believe in what Citizens’ Climate Lobby is about, then inaction is the same as supporting what is going on today in this world as far as our climate,” he said.
Marianne Huff, a teacher and mother of two, became convinced long ago about the importance of working together.
“None of us lives in isolation,” said Huff, who has taught from preschool to college level and has a grown daughter and a son.
“Everything that we do impacts many people. I’ve learned over the years — even a few people who listen and act can cause things to begin to change.”
To Huff, the chance of succeeding increases greatly with the implementation of a specific plan, and she is convinced CCL has that plan.
“It seems like in the corporate world everything comes down to money, and money talks,” she said.
With the carbon tax, these supporters maintain, carbon fuel usage would be reduced, more jobs would be created and the earth would be in a better place.
That’s what everyone wants, Huff said.
“And I think its important for all of us to be involved.”
For more information on CCL, contact Lamberts at 753-5288 or visit citizensclimatelobby.org.