As someone who cares deeply about the future of our planet, I also feel strongly that the only way forward is to work together. For that reason, I've been very intentional about remaining non-partisan in my public positions. I have been vocal about about limiting fossil fuel emissions, but realistic that it won't happen unless we can work together to do it.
We are way past the point of arguing over scientific consensus. What matters now is the will to take action. And that's proven difficult, perhaps catastrophically. Today, I listened to an announcement about a new global initiative to fund coral reef restoration and resilience. The coral reefs have already experienced losses of 50%, largely due to rising seawater temperatures. If the temperature of our planet increases by 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, studies predict that only 1% of coral will survive. The ocean has already warmed by 1 degree.
Prince Albert II of Monaco, a longtime advocate for ocean health, announced the new funding initiative. After outlining the irreplaceable value of coral reefs to our economies, our ecosystems, and our well-being, he said, "We can not ignore the fact that it is above all by reducing the damage of a carbon economy that we will be able to protect corals sustainably.”
When I've been asked about an action to take for the sake of our planet, I usually tell people to check out Citizen's Climate Lobby. I've been a member for at least a half a dozen years. They are a staunchly non-partisan group who support a very simple and elegant solution to carbon emissions called Carbon Fee and Dividend, or CFD.
The idea, in a nutshell, is to place a fee on carbon at the point of extraction. Gather all of that money and redistribute it as a dividend to taxpayers on a per capita basis: a full dividend for adults and a half per child. This sends a signal to the market to move away from carbon emissions. It also offsets increases in electricity as the market shifts to low- or no-carbon power. At the same time, it does nothing to increase the size of government or add regulations.
Because it dovetails with conservative values of limited government, CFD has gained many supporters on the political right. There is currently a bill introduced into the U.S. House proposing CFD, that has bi-partisan support.
However, as we approach the election, I recognize that the current leaders will continue to block any movement on climate change. This is out of step with the will of the people. Among Republicans born after 1981, 78% believe that the U.S. should prioritize developing alternative energy sources. In Texas alone, 72% of adults believe that carbon emissions should be limited.
For that reason, I have teamed up with a group of amazing writers to offer writing classes in exchange for a donation to a group that targets key elections where change in leadership is possible. There are poetry classes, a class on structuring your novel, writing screenplays, and even using Scrivener. (I recommend Scrivener if you haven't tried it yet!) I'm offering a Zoom class on October 7 called Science as Muse, all about incorporating more science into your writing.
Just like acting to protect our planet, I'd love it if you'd join me.