After I saw “Avengers: Endgame,” I couldn’t help but wonder what the world would do if half the earth’s population was threatened with extinction. Would we step up and fight the threat against all odds, or would we back down, convincing ourselves the problem was too big to tackle?

On June 11, at the Citizens’ Climate Lobby International Conference and Lobby Day, I got my answer.

Packed into the Omni Shoreham Hotel were 1,500 volunteers from around the country to save the planet from a threat that promises total human extinction: climate change. Everyone was electrified with a shared sense of purpose, united across faiths, parties, genders, sexualities, ethnicities and ages.

Here, the hallways were packed with people ready to become heroes. Here, hope was manifested in action — confident, organized, ready.

This event was my first time speaking to any member of Congress, much less three in one day. Anxiety wracked my mind as to how effective I’d be, but purpose invigorated my every step.

Like many of my generation, I have felt discouraged by a future in which climate change hangs over our heads like the sword of Damocles. But now I have hope.

With a Democratic majority in the House and more Republicans acknowledging a changing climate and its danger to agriculture and homeland security, we've reached a tipping point. More people are awakening to the dire reality and they’re tapping into the same human innovation and ingenuity that blasted us to the moon.

This is where the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act comes in, a bipartisan climate legislation cosponsored by more than 45 members of Congress. Economists and scientists agree it will reduce America’s emissions by at least 40 percent in the first 12 years, curbing the most dangerous effects of climate change.

On top of reducing greenhouse gases that warm the atmosphere, it will also reduce pollution, thereby improving the health and quality of life of all Americans. The carbon dividend element of the bill puts money directly into people’s pockets every month to spend as they see fit, which will be especially helpful to low and middle-income Americans.

On top of these benefits, this bill is expected to create 2.1 million new jobs thanks to economic growth in local communities across America. At the Citizens’ Climate Lobby, we recognize that America was built on coal and natural gas and it has provided many of us with jobs to support our families.

At the same time, we also want to see America take the lead in the global renewable energy market. As a native Texan, I want our state to lead the country.

In a single day, 1,500 Citizens’ Climate Lobby volunteers met with over 500 members of Congress to lobby in support of this bill and achieve a common goal: put a price on pollution, boost the economy and stabilize the climate. We may not be the Avengers, but we have assembled to save the planet. And we’re just getting started.

Ryan Ruffaner is a volunteer for the Citizens' Climate Lobby and lives in League City.

Locations

(24) comments

Carlos Ponce

Climate change is real. Man-made climate change - not so much. How about trying the "nuclear" option. We have the South Texas Nuclear Power Plant in Bay City built using last century technology. There are 450 Nuclear power plants worldwide with 50 new under construction (None in the US). The United States maintains a fleet of nuclear powered vessels. People think about Three Mile Island which was due to human error involving a stuck-open pilot-operated relief valve which allowed large amounts of nuclear reactor coolant to escape. Human error. Then they think of Chernobyl which had an inherent design flaw. The only problem with nuclear reactors is the production of nuclear wastes but modern reactors consume the nuclear waste to generate electricity. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2012/feb/02/nuclear-reactors-consume-radioactive-waste Do solar and wind generators produce pollution? Yes, they do. the production of photovoltaics create a lot of environmentally unsafe by-products. https://spectrum.ieee.org/green-tech/solar/solar-energy-isnt-always-as-green-as-you-think The number deaths of birds and bats from wind turbines is deemed as "acceptable". Really? And with no wind they have to rely on coal and natural gas systems. Natural gas generators are cleaner but not pollution free producing nitrogen oxide and carbon dioxide. Looks like "Green" isn't as green as their pundits purport.

Jim Forsythe

Zero bird deaths can not happen unless we get rid of refinery's, cats, windows, and vehicles, communications towers, building. "Fossil fuel and nuclear power plants actually cause more bird deaths than wind power. They also threaten the very ecosystems bird species rely on. Furthermore, bird deaths from wind turbines have dropped considerably (per kWh) as the technology has matured, and annual bird death totals from cats, windows, and vehicles each dwarf annual bird death totals from wind power." "Billions of birds are killed each year by domestic cats. Yes, that’s billions with a b. Collisions with communications towers kill about 6.5 million birds each year Electrocutions kill about 5.4 million birds" “Bird mortality from window collisions in the US is estimated to be between 365 million to 988 million birds annually.” If we compare the top end of the researchers’ estimate for wind power bird deaths, which is 328,000 per year, with the peak from the Fish and Wildlife Service for building collisions, which is 988 million.------------------=============================================================== Carbon emissions by power plants can be zero or almost zero. By eliminating all air emissions, this is possible.--------------------- "In the Texas city of La Porte, about 30 miles outside of Houston, the power plant of the future generates enough electricity to power 5,000 homes simultaneously. It burns old-fashioned fossil fuels. And yet it produces no carbon emissions." "NET Power plants have several key features that enable them to inherently eliminate all air emissions. This means no carbon dioxide, particulate matter, mercury, SO X or NO X is released to the atmosphere. A NET Power plant’s only major byproducts are liquid water and a high-pressure, high-purity stream of carbon dioxide that is sent into a pipeline for sequestration or utilization in industrial processes."------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- No process is hazard free but, photovoltaics is one of the lowest. A substantial body of research has investigated the life cycle impacts of photovoltaics including raw material production, manufacture, use and disposal. While some potentially hazardous materials are utilized in the life cycle of photovoltaic systems, none present a risk different or greater than the risks found routinely in modern society-------------------------------------------================== In the future the few times of no wind, we will rely on backups of solar and the new Power plants

Carlos Ponce

"Green" energy adds to the problem of bird deaths, bat deaths, pollution. Pundits want you to believe they are pollution free- a false concept. Without government subsidies "Green" energy would be far too expensive. Should the government be taking sides?

Bailey Jones

Good luck with this. You'll need it.

Ray Taft

The facts show that man-made climate change is a hoax, with redistribution of wealth as the goal. When data showed CO2 increases, the untampered actual temperature did not. Extreme predictions have not accrued. Models do not match the observed data. The purpose of the Paris climate accord is to change [destroy] the economic development model [capitalism].

Gary Scoggin

Aside from Climate Change, the main purpose of the Paris Climate Accord was for the small countries to get into the pockets of the big ones. It was about income redistribution all right, just not the “noble” kind. There was little ideology behind it, just an opportunity to guilt the wealthy countries into giving up money and technology. The Obama Administration actually did a pretty good job of not giving in to this. Much better than the Europeans.

Gary Scoggin

And the predictable reactions from the denial wing just keep on coming..... To the substance.. A move like the Energy Investment and Dividend act is a step in the right direction. The main thing is that it sets a price on carbon emissions and provides a market incentive for reductions. Aside from the title of the Act — whenever anyone says “investment “ I guard my wallet — the “dividend “ part is tricky. In prior legislation like this the temptation to commit social engineering with the collected money is very high, leading to big arguments on how distribute the money. Market based emissions reductions are favored by all the major energy companies. Of course, the advisors to these companies aren’t near as informed as your typical GDN commenter.

Diane Turski

Stopping the Trump administration from firing most of the climate scientists who work for the USDA on July 17 should be a priority! Protecting food sources affected by climate change will slow the approaching extinction.

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Jim Forsythe

People that disagree with you, should die? Extinction would not be just for the ones that you want, but for all.

Dan Freeman

The coal mines will close through financial failure. The question is how to provide for those unexpectedly unemployed. https://www.gillettenewsrecord.com/news/local/article_a6d59535-dc1a-559e-8b80-816d7a7b5bc0.html

Gary Scoggin

Dan. You are right. The war on coal is being waged by the marketplace, not the government. https://www.bbc.com/news/business-48808311

Bailey Jones

We need lots of batteries, windmills and solar cells manufactured. We need them installed and maintained. We need sites surveyed. We need drivers to transport them. Wind is the fastest growing job market in the US, now at over 100,000. Instead of making empty promises about bring back coal, the g'ment should be training these folks and giving trade incentives for companies to locate in these areas. Wind tower parts are offloaded in Galveston seemingly every day. Denmark, Germany, China and India are leading the pack in this new tech.

Comment deleted.
Gary Scoggin

That is easily the most offensive comment I've ever seen in these forums.

Charles Douglas

Its all a hoax....just a lowdown hoax! Go and see how much America was being asked to pay or lose in the Paris Accord. It was in the TRILLIONS of dollars. Then check and see what CHINA & INDIA was asked to contribute. Then you read where these climate converts say, "I just want my state or my country to be the leader in this!" Lolol! Relegating our military back to being third or fourth rate, saying goodbye to hundreds of thousands of factories and good paying jobs are not ways to keep us in the lead! As far as I'm concerned, natural resources are like spiritual gifts, callings, and talents, if GOD, didn't want us to use them, he would not have BLESSED us with them. It a hoax I tell you, it's all a hoax except for all who knows better! According to some of the these brainiaics...we all should be dead now. Now Satan is trying to get us to listen to a BARTENDER from New York, who says we have just twelve years left to live because of climate change. We have people in this country trying to shove America into a situation JUST like the European Union is now! One man calling the shots for many countries! No Borders! Change the currency, and ways of buying and selling!!!!!! China is right in the middle of this hoax and are paying hundreds of millions in facilitating Americans to help them! Joe HANDS Biden's son comes to mind! Don't hear old Joe talking about all the millions China gave Hunter Biden, I wonder why! Looks like the same situation, the ANTICHRIST will set up in his reign on the earth. It might be many of these clowns are paving the way for it all. The Word of God says the Spirit of the ANTICHRIST is already working in the earth. ( 1 John 4:3 ).

Steve Fouga

This is a bizarre thread.

Michelle Aycoth

Climate change has been occurring since before man walked on earth. Andrew Aycoth

Gary Scoggin

Yes, but not at the current rate of change.

Carlos Ponce

So Gary was here before man walked on Earth? Talk about climate change: "In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth and the earth was without form or shape, with darkness over the abyss and a mighty wind sweeping over the waters. Then God said: Let there be light, and there was light.God saw that the light was good. God then separated the light from the darkness. God called the light 'day,' and the darkness he called 'night.' Evening came, and morning followed—the first day." ALL THAT IN JUST ONE DAY! And Gary claims it is now at a faster rate?

Gary Scoggin

Well, on that particular day 5000 or so years ago, when God played that practical joke on us by creating a false geological record that would decieve us into believing that the earth was actually older...

Carlos Ponce

Hey Gary, God made a full grown man in one day - no babyhood, no childhood, no adolescence. For man not possible. With God all things are possible.

Katrina Evenhouse

Global Cooling didn't happen, Global Warming didn't happen, so now we have Climate Change. Everyone needs to read the Email lies of the University of East Anglia. It is a hoax to redistribute money with a carbon tax which most of you won't enjoy.

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