Category: Reflections and Reportage

On “The Vermonter,” Headed for DC!

This morning my husband and I caught the train in Waterbury–we’re due into DC about 10 p.m. tonight. It will be my fourth year at the conference, and his first. We own a home in Vermont, so though we’re not constituents (yet) we are tax-payers. Only one member of the Vermont CCL chapter can make it to DC this year, so my husband will be on the teams meeting with Senators Leahy and Sanders and with Congressman Welch. That’s what I did last year (I have a picture with the team and Senator Sanders to prove it!). But don’t worry–Wisconsin meetings with our MOCs will be filled with constituents: there are at least 50 Badgers coming to DC this year!

I’ve been reviewing Laser Talks on my laptop as the train heads south–we’re getting near New Hampshire now–and thinking about how much calmer taking the train is than flying. And of course there’s always the thought of the carbon footprint for flying . . . so I was very interested to be reminded of this fact as I scanned one of the Talks:

Only about 36% of the average American’s fossil fuel use comes from direct consumption–filling up the gas tank, charging our laptops, or taking a plane (or train). The remainder–64%–comes from indirect consumption; that is, it is the fossil fuel embedded in the products we buy (like this laptop I’m typing on).

You can read the same laser talk here.

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After the March

As I write, thousands of citizens are marching in New York City’s People’s Climate March: the centerpiece of a global event. The organizers are expecting over 100,000 marchers just in NYC! CCL Executive Director Mark Reynolds notes that this kind of turnout elevates today’s march “to the level of events surrounding the civil rights and anti-war movements of an earlier era.” And many CCL volunteers are among today’s marchers; but as Mark notes, whether the “’arc of the moral universe’—where climate change is concerned—eventually bend[s] towards justice . . . depends on what happens after the march.”

There are many ways to help with the work of CCL in the Chippewa Valley, and there are things you can do that don’t take much time. One CCL goal for this year is that by the end of 2014, every member of Congress will be receiving at least 50 letters a month from constituents back home sending the message to act on climate. If every person on this list wrote just one letter to Senator Baldwin, Senator Johnson, and Congressman Kind during a year that would be over ONE HUNDRED letters to each of those offices from constituents saying “climate action is imperative”—that would be noticed!

Will you devote some time today and in the days ahead to thinking about how you are able to contribute to climate action? We can’t all be marching in New York City today, but we can each contribute to what happens after the march.

Yours for a stable climate,

Kate