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Sometimes you just have to do what you have to do, try to change what needs changing and say to hell with the roadblocks.

Those of us who do not deny the climate is changing globally and who believe humans have a lot to do with that change are acutely aware that foot-dragging non-action has put us in our current climate predicament. It is also abundantly apparent that human attitudes and egos are delicate and need nurturing more than nagging -- grandma's lesson about catching more flies with honey than with vinegar.

To that end, the Citizens Climate Lobby has gone about its work seeking common ground among politicians. With climate science research in hand, the economics down on paper and the narrowing of doubt by the voting public that climate change really is real, the group's main proposal for lowering the carbon in our atmosphere is finally getting attention.

If carbon producers pay a fee for their use of the environment rather than getting to pollute for free, the more it will cost fossil fuel industries to consume a resource (air). With that fee increasing each year, it becomes more likely that carbon producers will want to avoid that overhead. Of course, as always, the more costs to industries, the more costs they will pass on to consumers. But, and this is a big "but," with a "carbon fee and dividend" plan, the money collected will, except for administrative costs, be returned to every adult in the country. It is projected that these dividends will more than cover increased energy costs with funds left over that will be reinvested in, and add jobs to, the nation's economy. This is best understood with charts and videos in the "Fees and Dividends" section of the website,

They may not make a big show of it, but many politicians know climate change must be addressed and are making their way into the House of Representatives' Climate Solutions Caucus. They can only join Noah-style -- two at a time from each party -- to keep to the goal of being truly bi-partisan. Having some green credentials, especially after a year of historic hurricanes and fires costing numerous lives and more than $306 billion in property losses, does not seem so radical these days.

From January 2017 until now, this caucus has grown to 72 members. Whatever motives them, they are including themselves in climate issues and hopefully someday, climate action. None of Arkansas' representatives have joined yet, but the Citizens Climate Lobby visits our state's delegation each year to keep lines of communication open. In 2017 they sent 18 members in June and nine in November to Washington. D.C., to continue this dialogue.

To create support for emerging climate action leaders and civic commitment in Arkansas, the non-profit Citizens Climate League was formed. It develops leadership and education opportunities for the five chapters in the state (Fayetteville, Fort Smith, Jonesboro, Mountain Home and Little Rock). As with all grass roots efforts, this one must raise money to reach its goals. This year, the group will hold four benefits across the state from 5:30-8 p.m. on one Friday night, April 27. There is no set admission, but the organization ( for information) hopes attendees will want to donate to their climate work and help them meet challenge grants.

One event will be held at the Chateau aux Arc Winery in Altus, which has donated several cases of wine launched specifically to benefit Citizens Climate League. This "Empowering Arkansas One Sip at a Time" event will feature other locally sourced foods plus some good ole Rock-n-Roll.

"An Evening in Paris," will actually be an evening in Fayetteville at St. Paul's Episcopal Church Parish Hall with a catered meal, French dessert and music by Block St. Hot Club.

Still On the Hill will entertain at Fort Smith's "River Walk Then Wine," with a meal catered by R&R Curry Express.

And, Little Rock will "Turn Up the Heat on Climate Solutions" with acrobats from Arkansas Circus Art, live music and food courtesy of China Plus and Star of India.

In addition, William McNamara, whom I personally feel is one of the finest artists Arkansas has ever produced, is donating 15 different pigment prints for differing levels of donation support as his acknowledgment of Citizen Climate League's extraordinary efforts.

If you want to do something about climate change more than just grumbling, this organization is giving you a great start.

Commentary on 04/10/2018

Print Headline: Making climate progress

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