July 2018 Meeting Notes

People present: Craig Mosher, Richard Bushby, Del Holland, Eric Johnson, Chris Bergan, Mark Conway, Brandon Jennings, Barb Bailey, Peter Rolnick (notetaker)

Today’s meeting was our first time at the Prairie Hill Co-Housing Community Room, and it was a great place to meet. Thanks to Craig, Del and Barb, who are members of that group, for arranging for us to meet there. Their housing community uses zero fossil fuels (other than what goes into MidAmerican’s electricity, but I think even that is going to be replaced by solar soon), so it is an appropriate place for us to meet!

In our introductions we were happy to see Brandon, who was a member of our chapter but now lives in Des Moines, who was back for a visit. He has been having success implementing a Grand Canyon phone call project for Congressmen Young in District 3–he said it is not that much work! If any of you in District 1 or District 2 want to start such an effort for Congressmen Blum or Loebsack let me know (prolnick@truman.edu) and I’ll get you started.

We also learned that Chris, who has been a very active member of our group for a number of years, will be moving to Decorah as part of a new job. We will miss you Chris, but maybe you will be able to be involved in some way with helping to get a chapter started in Decorah! Craig, who moved here from Decorah, may also be part of that effort.

We participated in the CCL monthly call, and heard a great presentation by Adele Morris, a well-respected economist and energy and tax policy guru. She spoke of a recent series of studies from economists that looked at eleven different carbon tax models (the phrase “carbon tax” used broadly, and including as a possibility a revenue-neutral fee). The quick take-away from her talk was that 1) a price on carbon will reduce emissions significantly, and 2) a price on carbon will not cause any significant harm to the economy. Here are two useful links for those who’d like to understand this more deeply:

Mark Reynolds urged us to call our member in the House and urge him to oppose the Scalise resolution (which is likely to be introduced this week); it says the House should not even consider any price on carbon. Eric said he would call on Saturday, and I’ve sent out a message to the rest of you (with more detail) to call Monday 7/16. If you haven’t called yet, here’s the link: Call your U.S. Representative today and urge them to vote NO on the anti-carbon tax resolution, H. Con. Res. 119!

We wrote letters to our members of Congress. In discussing what we might say in the letters here is what we came up with:

  • The recent rainfall event in Ankeny, near Des Moines, was ten inches in two hours. For comparison, ten inches in one day is considered a 1000-year rain event!
  • The wind economy that Iowa is embracing is a good thing, and has encouraged Facebook and Google to set up shop in Iowa. A revenue-neutral fee on carbon would make that wind economy that much stronger.
  • The increased flooding and drought that will come with a failure to effectively lower our carbon emissions will exacerbate the problem of migration from Mexico and South America into the United States. Craig learned that people now living in Postville and Marshall had to immigrate to Iowa for work specifically because a drought in their village in Mexico had made it impossible to earn a living there any longer.

As we went through the rest of our agenda (and we got through it all!), the following came up:

  • I am looking for someone to take over my position as co-leader of ICCA, so that I can put more energy into being State CCL coordinator.
  • We need someone to arrange a meeting with the Editorial Board of the Gazette to see if they will write an endorsement of Carbon Fee and Dividend (maybe we should pursue a meeting with Todd Dorman or Linda Waddington?).
  • John Macatee will be tabling at the Iowa City Farmers Market next Saturday (7/21). Want to volunteer? No experience necessary! Contact John (jrmacatee@gmail.com(319) 331-1860).
  • We need pictures for our Facebook page! Send them to me (prolnick@truman.edu).
  • We need volunteers to table at an event at St. Patrick’s Church September 9 (Sunday). I will be there and get things set up, and Del may be able to come. Let me know if you can help (prolnick@truman.edu).
  • We talked about doing a 5k walk to raise awareness of climate issues and what we do in particular. It was suggested that we raise money at such an event for some other group in town that would be effected by climate change (labor, immigrant community, ???) as a way to connect with other demographics. It was also suggested we somehow involve Dave Loebsack (via Dave Leshtz) and Chris Peters.
  • Del continues to be interested in putting together a short presentation and then meeting with other environmental groups to inform them of our work. If you are interested in helping with that contact Del (delholland@aol.com)
  • We should engage with upcoming election activities. It was suggested we reach out to the Hubbell and Reynolds campaigns.
  • We talked about Dave Loebsack’s wish for us to reach out to the farm community to help him get support for CF&D. Mark mentioned that he may reach out to Winnisheik energy district (which is not in Loebsack’s district, but would be a good group to connect with).
  • There are four (count ’em!) meetings coming up: State CCL in Des Moines in August, Regional CCL in Rapid City ND in September, National CCL in DC in November 2018 and June 2019. Consider going to one or more of them–these meetings are a great experience. (Details for all meetings are below under “Upcoming Events”). If money is stopping you let me know (prolnick@truman.edu)–we can provide some support.
  • We talked about the Rise for Climate effort leading up to the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco on September 12-14. 350.orgwill be hosting a rally and march in Cedar Rapids on September 8, and Craig will be involved in an Electric Vehicle event that same day at the Iowa City Farmers Market. He may try to coordinate that with the Rise for Climate people.
  • In connection with the Rise for Climate stuff, we talked about my suggestion to have a public panel of a few groups in town (us, Center for Worker Justice (CWJ), ???) discuss climate change in light of the values and goals of each group, and look for shared values. It could be called “Many Voices, One Community,” or something like that. I have reached out to Rafael Morataya at CWJ and since the meeting he has gotten back to me and is interested. I will follow up with him in the next two weeks. People suggested that we also reach out to the Grannies, to the Service Workers Union, and to Damita Brown. It was also suggested that along with the panel we break out into small groups to facilitate discussion. Anyone interested in helping let me know (prolnick@truman.edu).
  • We decided there would be no August ICCA meeting–taking a vacation in August seems to have become a tradition. In that case, the next meeting will be September 8, except that that is the day for the Rise for Climate Events, so we will have the September meeting the Wednesday following that, September 12.
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