July 2016 Meeting Notes

Meeting Notes from July 20, 2016 (prepared by Peter Rolnick)

People Present: Chris Bergan, Jenna Hammerich, Carley Kleinhans, Terri Macey, Jaimie McCoy, Christian Noyce, Linda Quinn, Callie Rouse, Peter Rolnick

  • Terri gave a talk on a project she is working on called Consumers in the Wilderness, looking at why many people “camp” with gas-guzzling campers, televisions, etc. Observations she has made include: 1) Places (parks, for example) get branded and sold to us, 2) Nature becomes a commodity, 3) The park system is designed around cars. What does this mean for climate change? We need a fundamental change in values. Much interesting discussion followed.
    • Eric will give the short talk at our September meeting.
  • Callie gave us a brief overview of The Borgen Project (an effort to enact anti-poverty legislation, see http://borgenproject.org/about-us/). They lobby Congress in the same way that we in CCL do. Examples of legislation they are working on are The Reach Every Mother & Child Act (https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/senate-bill/1911) and The Food for Peace Act. Successful efforts include Electrifying Africa (https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/2847) and The Foreign Aid Accountability Act (https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/senate-bill/2184). For more information contact Callie: mailto:cjr8495@gmail.com.
    • Christian, who works with the League of Conservation Voters, pointed out that the efforts that Callie is making with The Borgen Project are connected to climate change, since people who are poor or otherwise disadvantaged are more likely to be harmed by the impact of climate change. He referred us to a research paper on this topic called The Climate Gap (https://dornsife.usc.edu/assets/sites/242/docs/The_Climate_Gap_Full_Report_FINAL.pdf)
    • I pointed out that addressing climate change via a revenue-neutral carbon fee actually helps those who are living in poverty (compared to doing nothing).
  • Terri told us about a film, Dear President Obama, that addresses the conflict between Obama’s support for efforts to address climate change and his efforts to promote natural gas production. A showing of the movie costs $250 (which I don’t think we have at the moment). Christian suggested that she contact Film Scene to see if they would want to show it, and she will do that. [Terri has since found out the the price for a screening via Vimeo has gone way down, and may try to arrange a screening soon–she will be in touch if and when an actual plan is in place!]
  • We wrote letters to various people (Joni Ernst, Chuck Grassley, Terry Branstad) telling of our concerns about the climate. Jamie told us how easy it was to call Senators and Congressmen/women via the Capital Switchboard: (202) 224-3121.
    • Don’t forget to email me (mailto:prolnick@truman.edu) whenever you send a letter to a government representative, or whenever you get a Letter to the Editor or Op Ed published, so we can keep track of our activity!
  • Christian agreed to be a writer for our monthly Op Eds for the Press-Citizen. I will contact Barbara Ekstein and let her know. Thank you, Christian!
  • We talked about finding ways for each of us to be involved in helping to achieive Mark Reynolds’ goal of having a Revenue-Neutral Carbon Fee passed by Congress by the end of 2017 (!). I passed on some ideas I heard at the 2016 Conference:
    • There are good, healthy reasons to take on a role or task (if the task has, for you, a sense of play, a clear purpose, potential for growth and accomplishments that you value),
    • There are negative reasons we take on tasks, and we should not take on tasks for these reasons. They include: feeling guilty, a sense of inertia (as in: “this is what I’m doing, I’ll just keep doing it”), or the need to be a “hole filler” (as in: “oh no, no one else is doing this, I better do it).
    • The idea is for each of us to find a role (or roles) that is (are) consistent with who we are, what our time constraints are, and what we enjoy doing. This keeps us from “burning out”, and makes it likely that whatever we do we will do it well.
    • Some things that I see as especially needed right now–things that will directly aid in getting CF&D through Congress, taken from a longer list of possible roles within ICCA that Eric Johnson and I came up with, include:
      • An Endorsement Chair, who would coordinate our efforts to obtain endorsements for Carbon Fee & Dividend (CF&D),
      • A Business Outreach Chair, who would coordinate developing a relationship with local businesses, including The Corridor Business Journal and The Chamber of Commerce, and providing information to them about ways that CF&D would help business,
      • An Agriculture Outreach Chair, who would coordinate developing a relationship with those in our state working in agriculture. (Along with the need to transition from a mostly fossil-fuel economy to a mostly sustainable economy, the need to transform how we practice agriculture is a big part of dealing effectively with climate change, and Iowa is right at the center of that challenge!)
      • A Fundraising Chair, who would coordinate our fundraising efforts. Though our organization has no dues, we are finding that we could use money to support our efforts. Examples include: photocopying costs, hosting events such as the film mentioned above, paying for MeetUp, and, most importantly (and most expensive) paying for our members to travel to DC in November and June so they can participate in DC lobbying efforts. (Eric is working on a 5-k run in Spring 2017 to raise money and climate awareness, and Peter is looking into having a music fundraiser at Uptown Bill’s at some point, but neither Eric nor Peter is in a position to oversee a sustained fundraising plan from year to year.),
      • A Tabling Chair, who would coordinate regular tabling efforts (at local Farmers’ Markets? at the mall? other?).
  • Announcements
    • On Earth Day 2016, members of ICCA sent 3 letters to Dave Loebsack, 10 letters to Joni Ernst and 10 letters to Chuck Grassley. On the June 21 2016, in support of the June 22 lobbying effort in DC, members of ICCA made 6 phone calls to Dave Loebsack, 17 phone calls to Joni Ernst and 17 phone calls to Chuck Grassley.
    • One of our Regional Coordinators, Mindy Ahler, is making a bike ride across the county to bring attention to climate change. She will be in Iowa in the fall, and it is not clear at this point whether she will come through Iowa City or not. For more info, go to: https://lowcarboncrossings.wordpress.com/. (The other regional coordinator is Paul Thompson; they are both from Minnesota.)
    • CCL will have a Regional Meeting March 2017 in Okoboji, IA. Stay tuned for more information about that, and think about whether you would be interested in helping to organize it.
    • Tabling at a Boy Scout Round Table Thursday, August 4th, 6:30 pm; contact Linda (mailto:quinnhenry@msn.com) or Peter (mailto:prolnick@truman.edu) if you are interested in participating.
    • Update on City Council Sustainability Efforts:
      • Some ICCA people attended the July 19th City Council meeting in which sustainability was discussed,
      • Cheryl Miller will meet with Brenda Nations (City Sustainability Coordinator) on July 27,
      • After July 27 Cheryl will coordinate with other local environmental groups and perhaps form one ad hoc committee to systematically give input to the City Council.

Upcoming Events/Meetings

  • Pot luck w/ local chapter of the Sierra Club August 17, Hickory Hill Park (Conklin St entrance), starts at 6 pm. There will be live acoustic folk music (my band-Sweet Cacophony) from 6:30-8:30. There will also be a donation jar for ICCA (speaking of fundraising).
  • Our next meeting (not counting the Pot luck) will be in September, time and place TBA.

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