Greetings from Paris: COP21

Posting from email:

Greetings, CCL supporters and friends,

Don’t worry, we stayed clear of the tear gas yesterday. Evidently the disturbance was provoked by a small number of masked young men in black, likely provocateur anarchists, after a peaceful “human chain” took place in lieu of the cancelled massive protest. The police over reacted, and, true to form, the media gobbled it up. We were safely in a cafe sipping hot chocolate and tea.
This morning, heads of state gathered at the conference center, Le Bourget, a half hour metro ride from central Paris. Civil society events begin tomorrow. We’ll be there along with thousands of others from all over the world. CCL has at least 20 people here, many young (refreshing!)  For now, we’re holed up in a cozy apartment in Le Marais watching the live stream from the UN and planning to attend the many side events taking place over the next two weeks, focusing on the carbon pricing events (not many.)
Hopes are high for this conference, one of the last off ramps on the highway to Hell, but expectations have been dampened by the announcement that carbon pricing is “off the menu. Excuse me? Without a price signal, I don’t see how the job gets done. And if the UN can’t do it, we need the US to take the lead, work with other major economies, figure out how to make poor countries whole, and get on with it. That is CCL’s mission: carbon fee, dividend and duty.
For your edification, please see the following:
1. The Carbon Tax Center’s  statement on the need for a carbon tax, signed by numerous high level economists, nobel prize winners and other distinguished individuals, including Sec. Shultz and Mark Reynolds, Executive Director of CCL.
2. Dr. Hansen’s latest plea for a carbon tax over cap and trade. This follows his recent essay, “The Imperative of Carbon Fee and Dividend.”
3. Sunday’s NYT essayTales of a Warmer Planet, on what humanity has already bought for the next thousand years. Brace yourself.
4. Paris Climate Talks Avoid Scientists’ Idea of ‘Carbon Budget’. How could this be? I thought we were beyond science denial. This just reinforces the need to engage the economy, as national pledges, promises, intentions, while honorable, just won’t be enough to reverse course.
If you’d like to follow events, go to Citizens Climate Network. It should be an interesting and engaging two weeks. Please keep this process and the people in it in your hearts and thoughts. There’s a lot riding on it.
Best regards,

Peter G. Joseph, M.D.

Citizens’ Climate Lobby, Marin County group leader

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