‘Push for a Price on Carbon’ continues CCL’s tradition of great conference speakers
By Steve Valk
Over the years, Citizens’ Climate Lobby conferences have presented some great keynote speakers, and the upcoming virtual conference on June 12 — “The Push for a Price on Carbon” — will be no exception.
Participants will hear voices offering a wide range of perspectives on climate change and what to do about it:
- Jerry Taylor, President of Niskanen Center, a free market think tank that advocates for, among other things, a price on carbon to drive down greenhouse gas emissions. They recently hosted a briefing on the Case for Carbon Border Adjustments.
- Jasmine Sanders, Executive Director of Our Climate, which empowers young leaders to advocate for equitable and science-based climate policy. A native of Louisiana, she has witnessed first-hand the impact of climate change on the state’s residents, particularly people of color, which she wrote about last fall in USA Today.
- Adele Morris, policy director for Climate and Energy Economics at the Brookings Institution. A leading global expert on the design of carbon pricing policies, she has been a featured speaker on several of CCL’s national calls, participated in a panel discussion during CCL’s 2019 national conference and serves on CCL’s Advisory Board.
This year’s virtual conference will also give attendees more options for interacting and connecting with one another with the online platform Airmeet. Among some of the features:
- A lounge reception area where attendees can sit at a “table” and video chat with other attendees
- “Speed networking” to be matched up with a random attendee to chat
- The Booths area, where Action Teams will exhibit information about their Team
- The ability to search for other attendees and send them private messages
- Option to switch between any session that is happening at that time
Check out Airmeet’s guide for first-time participants.
With the conference just weeks away, let’s look at some memorable speakers from past events.
One of America’s best climate communicators, since 2011 Dr. Katharine Hayhoe has been a featured speaker on CCL national calls, regional conferences and two national conferences in Washington, D.C. As an evangelical Christian and a climate scientist, she straddles two worlds that are sometimes in tension with one another and finds a way to bridge the divide between faith and science. She has the rare ability to take a very complicated subject, climate change, and explain it in ways that a non-scientific audience can understand, as she did with her video series “Global Weirding.” Always a favorite with CCL audiences, her last in-person appearance was at CCL’s national conference in June of 2019.
Known as the scientist who sounded the alarm on global warming during testimony before Congress in 1988, Dr. James Hansen is considered the leading authority on climate change in the U.S. For several decades he directed the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, and since 2014, he’s been the director of the Program on Climate Science, Awareness and Solutions at Columbia University’s Earth Institute. Unlike many scientists, he’s never shy about weighing in on policy, and from the beginning has been a close ally of CCL and a strong supporter of carbon fee and dividend. Dr. Hansen rarely misses an opportunity to recommend CCL to the thousands of people who follow his work, many of them eventually becoming CCL volunteers. In addition to numerous national calls, he’s been a keynote speaker at two of CCL’s national conferences in Washington. In 2018, he participated in a panel discussion at CCL’s national conference and received CCL’s Voice of the Earth Award.
Back in 2009 when he was a congressman from South Carolina, Republican Bob Inglis courageously introduced the Raise Wages, Cut Carbon Act, legislation to price carbon and use the revenue to reduce payroll taxes. Ahead of his time, he paid the price politically in 2010 when he was primaried out of his seat. Seeing that he had unfinished work to do, Bob started republicEn to convince conservatives to support market-based solutions on climate change. A friend and supporter of CCL right from the start, Bob taught our volunteers how to talk to conservatives about climate change. His most recent appearance with CCL was on our national call in February 2020.
Political will and public opinion are closely connected, and so the work of Dr. Anthony Leiserowitz with the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication has been extremely valuable to CCL. His polling on Americans’ views on climate change and their level of support for various solutions has informed the messages our volunteers deliver to people and members of Congress throughout the country. A guest on several of CCL’s national calls, he was the keynote at our third national conference in 2012 when he spoke before a modest crowd of 175. When he returned to speak in 2017, he seemed a bit surprised but clearly delighted that the audience had grown to more than 1,300. At that conference, he shared the five big facts that everyone needs to know about climate change: 1) Scientists agree, 2) it’s real, 3) it’s us, 4) it’s bad… 5) …but there’s hope.
The author of four books, when she spoke to CCL in 2017, Dr. Hahrie Han’s latest book was “How Organizations Develop Activists: Civic Associations and Leadership in the 21st Century.” As she addressed the audience via Zoom, it became clear she was talking about the transformative power of organizations like CCL: “Movements work by transforming what people think is possible.” Her new book, “Prisms of the People: Power & Organizing in Twenty-First-Century America,” will be out in July. Like many of our wonderful guest speakers, Hahrie is now a member of CCL’s Advisory Board. Here is her presentation from 2017:
We hope you’ll be able to join us for this year’s climate change conference to learn from a new set of wonderful speakers, connect with other climate advocates, and help push for a price on carbon!