(3BL Media/Justmeans) — As hundreds of thousands marched last weekend, waving signs and urging their government representatives not to turn their backs on the urgent question of climate change, it felt to many that they were little more than waves bashing against unhearing, unfeeling rocky cliffs. Yet, the president and his cabinet cronies do not represent the entire Federal government, where many, even in his own party do not share his stance of willful oblivion. Indeed, unlike the president’s ill-informed followers, the majority of Americans are very concerned about the changing climate.
Given the divisive nature of our political landscape, the only hope for action seems to be in the form of a bi-partisan solution. The problem with Al Gore’s approach, said Carlos Curbelo, a Republican Congressman from the low-lying Florida Keys was that Gore, “did all that without a Republican partner, so we got to a state of affairs where Republicans automatically oppose anything to do with the environment... there’s a lesson there. We need a proper, sober discussion on this issue.”
Curbelo is the co-chair of the House Climate Solutions Caucus, a group of 19 Democratic and 19 Republican lawmakers committed to looking for a solution that both parties can live with. Ted Deutsch, the Democratic co-chair, says, “If you want to join as a Democrat, you have to bring a Republican. It’s a Noah’s Ark approach, which is appropriate.”
One solution that the group may well get behind is the so-called carbon fee and dividend approach. This proposal has been backed by the environmentally- leaning Citizens Climate Lobby (CCL), but it also has some powerful support on the right as well. For starters, James Baker, Ronald Reagan’s Secretary of State, along with George W. Shultz and Henry Paulson—all former Republican cabinet members—support it.