Stephanie Couey: Climate change priority is political engagement

Earlier this month, . Black called out to the “green ninjas” in all of us, and compiled a comprehensive list on how to most effectively cut our daily CO2 emissions. Black suggests we upgrade our appliances, cut back on food waste, support the education of young girls, eat more plants and plant-based foods, plant more trees, de-carbonize our means transportation, and be politically engaged. These suggestions are ranked from most-to-lease effective. The only critique I have of Black‘s article is in the ordering of this list — I would place political engagement toward the top, and here‘s why.

This past November, the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act was introduced to the House of Representatives. The bill, sponsored by both Republicans and Democrats, is an effort to dramatically reduce carbon emissions by at least 40 percent in its first 12 years of implementation. Its initial and groundbreaking success is the direct result of the political engagement of community members, such as those involved in the Citizens‘ Climate Lobby. CCL is a bipartisan organization — with chapters in Boulder and Denver — that offers a platform for civilians to voice their concerns effectively to elected officials, and that has been advocating for a carbon dividend for over the past decade. So, “maintaining political pressure” may prove to be among the most, rather than the least, effective green-ninja actions we can take to reduce CO2 emissions.

While it would be profoundly beneficial to the planet, to our well-being, and to our bank accounts to adopt all of the daily solutions Black proposes, we have to vote both with our feet and with our voices to create lasting large-scale solutions to climate change.

Stephanie Couey