The Best Group I Ever Joined – Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL) #speakup4climate change solutions

When I was a kid, the ozone layer was an issue. I don’t remember how young I was, or how old I was, but I remember being conscious of it, as something that was talked about. You know, time goes on, and it doesn’t go on all that far, before people are talking about global warming — and — This becomes an issue, and it never really left my radar [my areas of interest], I guess. When I was younger I always like being outside. It was one of my favorite things to do — go to different parks; explore different areas; try to see how many different wildlife species that I could see, and never realizing, that being in nature could be related to protecting the environment. And [not] until I was in college, did I make that connection – – that this area, this world that I live in, which was – [which] I enjoyed so much — was so important to protect.

You know, after I realized global warming was going to be a problem, I said, “Oh, all I have to do is tell my friends!” It doesn’t work that way. And I read something by Bill McKibben. [That] basically said, “We need to have an organization here, We need to really tell everybody that it’s a problem, And we need to be forthright about it.” And about that time I said, “I gotta [have to] be part of a group.” I joined Citizens’ Climate Lobby in 2011. A year prior to that, I was what they call a “climate change skeptic”. But in the fall of 2010, I had a conversation with a friend of mine. And she had encouraged me to read the 4th Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, which was released in 2007. And I sat down and I read the entirety of the IPCC report. And I was struck by the abundant evidence that had been put together, showing human causation of climate change. I live in Manhattan, New York, and I was in my apartment during Hurricane Sandy. And while my area of Manhattan, the Upper West Side, was luckily not flooded, a lot of my friends who live downtown had to vacate their apartments, and their homes, and find shelter elsewhere.

I was unable to get to work. The subway systems were closed down for a week. We took in friends who had lived downtown and housed them in our apartment. I already knew about the effects of climate change, but that really hit home for me — and I think for a lot of people who hadn’t been concerned about climate change before, once they lived through that Superstorm [Sandy], they really became concerned about it, and now realize the effects that it can have on their lives. I’m actually a letter carrier for the post office. OK. But I’m also a part time photographer, a nature photographer – So I’ve done a lot of photography, and seeing the first hand effects of climate change, through other’s photography. Glacier National Park we visited (my wife and I visited) last year – [It] was an eye opener for me. You know, they used to say that all the glaciers would be gone from Glacier National Park by 2050 — Now it’s down to 2020 that they’re expecting all the – all the glaciers to be gone.

[Glacier calving into water] [Water trickling down] My parents know, there’s a pastor of their church. She lives up in Union Beach [NJ]. And if you don’t know the area, or haven’t heard, Superstorm Sandy went through Union Beach was – One of the most devasted towns in the county, if not the state. Compared to like Seaside Heights. Just in terms of per capita — Union Beach just got [was] totally almost obliterated. So he lost his house there. So it hasn’t really effected me personally, Obviously living close to the region, you get the effects from the environment as well. [Ocean waves splashing] After I got back from the June conference, I started reading and researching as much as I could. A CCL member recommended a book by Bill McKibben, and then I went online and looked for as many articles as I could find. I used an application called “ZITE”, and throughout the day, I’m getting articles about climate change. I’ve been a Republican for the last fifteen years.

I’m very concerned about the legacy that we’re leaving for our children – I’m around young people all the time. Republicans think that addressing climate change means more regulation — and more government. It doesn’t have to! It’s true it has in the past — but the whole point of fee and dividend, is so that we can address climate change very effectively, without having a bigger government. What I’ve done for Citizens Climate Lobby — is writing letters to the editor and visiting the local office of my Congressman, as well as, attending the conference in [Washington] D.C. Where we held 500 meetings with Members of Congress, and their Staff. Citizens’ Climate Lobby has done a lot for me. I just love the monthly international calls — where we get to hear really top notch speakers, and hear the latest about what’s going on with the science, the economics, the politics, the psychology — of doing something about climate change. The message to me is — You don’t know what will happen until you try.

So, just call your member of Congress, Go visit their office, and things will happen. Don’t hesitate! There are so many brilliant people you will meet, There are so many great experiences you will have, And most importantly, you will be able to maximize your talents, and you will be able to accomplish things that you didn’t even know you could accomplish! It is a way to sort of take your talents – whatever passions you have and bring them to their fullest point to maximize your potential On behalf of the greatest cause that one can have — The cause of protecting future generations — to say nothing of the present generation — from the ravages of the climate crisis. So, do not hesitate! Join today, [the website is] citizensclimatelobby.

org. We’re not asking you to move mountains. We’re asking you to join, so that you can liberate your neighbor to ask you the next question – [which] is really — — Tell me more about that. I like CCL, because they take a practical view on what is achievable, On making it simple, and on doing it in a positive way — That isn’t about griping, that’s about engagement, It’s about bringing people to the table — because it does the type of things that move a conversation forward — that I would do if it was with a client of mine. [Clapping] [Music].