This will be a big year in the fight against climate change. The decisions made—or not made—by Congress this session and by international leaders at the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen conference in early December will likely affect the state of the world for generations to come.
Beneficial decisions at the Copenhagen conference start with strong measures at home, but climate change legislation faces stark opposition in the United States. Nearly 800 companies and interest groups have hired more than 2,000 lobbyists to pressure Congressional representatives to swing climate change legislation in their favor. What’s Mr. Smith to do?
Two students at Vermont’s Middlebury College believe that engaging impassioned citizens as lobbyists for the environment is the best way to ensure good climate change legislation. To go up against industry lobbyists, however, these everyday people need proper knowledge of the policies and government workings, so the students created The Citizen’s Guide to Climate Policy. The 44-page booklet focuses on the Waxman-Markey climate bill that the House of Representatives passed in June 2009. It points out the major elements of the bill and explains which aspects legislators could swing both ways on.
The booklet is more than just a guide, however. It’s a call to action, an invitation to get in the game and affect positive change. The fate of the environment doesn’t have to rest in the hands of lobbyists and politicians. Grab a guide and get involved!