I think in particular of the thousands of Massachusetts residents who showed up at hearings in Beacon Hill, signed petitions and lobbied their senators and state representatives, all in favor of the proposition that the use of fossil fuels must stop. I think of the activists who write countless letters to the editor to counter misinformation and industry talking points. And I think of the activists who give up their jobs and families to travel to Washington to lobby their federal representatives in Congress to pass fair, simple, and transparent greenhouse gas pollution laws. greenhouse.
The protests have accomplished a lot for which we should all be grateful. Similarly, citizen lobbyists have helped strengthen Commonwealth climate policies and goals. Nationally, citizen lobbyists have convinced 49 Democratic senators and close to 100 Democratic representatives to support federal carbon pricing legislation. Even some Republicans like carbon pricing.
Civil disobedience is important. So does the hard work of civic engagement, the cornerstone of a democratic republic.
Massachusetts Citizens Climate Lobby
The ultimate test for effective climate action
Michael E. Mann and Wanjira Mathai say that to solve our existential climate problem, we must vote “for politicians who will support climate action and vote for those who will not” (“UN IPCC Report May lead governments to doorstep climate action, but they must pass”, Opinion, 4 April).
My observation is that the price of a gallon of gasoline is the ultimate litmus test for effective climate action. What does it tell us?
Several governors have already suspended their state’s gasoline tax in response to recent price increases. Massachusetts, my home (and supposedly progressive) state, has repeatedly failed to raise the gas tax. President Biden has authorized the release of one million gallons of crude oil per day from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. All of these actions mean that America – and most of the world for that matter – lacks the political will to take immediate action on climate change.
Before we can vote for politicians who will support climate action, we need to find and develop them. Perhaps the gas tax litmus test will help us identify the real leaders of climate action.
The DPU Dupe
The Department of Public Utilities ceded even more control to gas companies and utilities in determining how to transition to clean energy (“State Accused of Deferring to Natural Gas Industry,” page A1, April 1). The move exacerbates an already flawed process that will be increasingly skewed in favor of gas, a fossil fuel and a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions.
There is no incentive for gas companies and their consultants to accelerate the phase-out of fossil fuels in Massachusetts. On the contrary, they will undoubtedly propose a course of action that preserves their existing economic model for as long as possible.
As Upton Sinclair said, “It’s hard to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on him not understanding it.” The gas industry seems unable to understand that we need to end our reliance on burning any gas.