Guest editorial: Join the Citizens’ Climate Lobby to make a big difference
“The choice before us all has never been so stark. Act now with courage and resolve … or, God forbid, ignore the irrefutable evidence, and become the generation that betrayed humanity and our responsibility to future generations.” — Frank Bainimarama, prime minister of Fiji, at the opening of the United Nations Climate Change Conference this month in Katowice, Poland
Climate change is here. It is already here. And it is damaging our health and our environment. As a physician, my job is not just to treat patients but to prevent illness and promote health. I especially want to promote health and prevent the unnecessary suffering of our children and grandchildren. To do that, I need to advocate for a healthier environment. And to effect that change, I have found that involvement in politics is crucial. I have tilted at windmills by running for the state Senate. I have encouraged our youth to join the political process. I have worked on the campaigns of leaders who want to truly represent their communities. And now I am encouraging you to get involved in the care of our climate.
How can you get involved? There are so many groups in a variety of areas and with different expertise working on the climate right now. It can feel overwhelming for a regular citizen with a busy schedule to decide how to join in, to engage, to take part in governance and decision-making. Practically, where does a busy person start? How can one person really make a change?
First, join an effective group to amplify your voice. For climate issues, I recommend the Wasatch Back Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL). CCL is a bipartisan group of citizens, with hundreds of chapters across the nation, working with state legislatures and the U.S. Congress to promote healthier climate policies. The leaders of CCL can educate you about the science and business of climate care. They can teach you to lobby. They will help you rally your fellow community members to draft legislation and meet with your legislators. At our next CCL meeting, we will have prominent Democrats and Republicans from the Wasatch Back to listen to you and work with you. There will also be CCL leaders to train you, teach you and help you amplify your voice as you advocate for our children and grandchildren.
At the federal level in 2019, CCL will be working for and promoting The Carbon Dividend Act, a bipartisan bill just introduced in Congress. Despite the current partisan rancor in our country, these legislators from both sides of the aisle have put aside differences to make positive change for the good of our nation. And here in Utah, CCL hopes to continue the success of House Concurrent Resolution 7 from earlier this year, designed to promote environmental stewardship in our state. HCR 7 was written and promoted by Utah’s high school students with the assistance of CCL, is a great example of citizen engagement and made Utah the only “red” state to have a bipartisan agreement to work on climate change at the state level.
So, join us and make a difference. Work with your neighbors and CCL on the Wasatch Back to promote the health of the next generation, join a bipartisan effort and create a positive change and lasting legacy for our planet.
Come to our next meeting of the Wasatch Back CCL. The group meets on the third Thursday of the month at the Kimball Junction Library from 6:30-7:30 p.m. and will meet next on Dec. 20 at the Sheldon Richins Building at 1885 W. Ute Blvd.
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