BLOG: Lobbying with My Nine Year Old Canadian Daughter and What You Can do From Home NOW

PHOTO: Sophia, with Pam Saunders and Marshall Saunders, the founder and president of Citizens’ Climate Lobby.  Credits: Cathy Orlando

In February 2007, I was pregnant with my third daughter Sophia when I heard the conclusions of the fourth report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC 4): “If the humanity keeps on the current path of carbon dioxide emissions, the planet will be a very difficult place to live on the 40 years from now.” Horrible images flashed through my mind of what Sophia’s future would be like if we failed to act. Time stood still.   I made a promise to my unborn daughter that I was going to  make sure her future and every child’s future would be safe from climate catastophe. It was a daunting, if not impossible promise.

Over the years, Sophia has joined me at many rallies and lobbying politicians in Canada. On June 21, 2016, she volunteered to lobby Congress on Capitol Hill with Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL). As we were about to go lobby, she confidently turned to me and said matter-of-factly, “Lobbying is like protesting except you’re nice and there are no police in the room”.  Alongside some of the best volunteers on the planet, Sophia and I lobbied in the offices of four Republicans. In each of the four offices, they were open to carbon pricing and wanted more information. Sophia drew pictures while we were lobbying and gave them to the offices – which elicited smiles.

 By early 2017, Canada will have carbon pricing policy. From June 5-8, 31 CCLers were on Parliament Hill lobbying.  CCL’s founder and President, Marshall Saunders sent us a message:  “When I started CCL in 2007 I did so because I believed the US passing legislation was important not just for the US but for the rest of the world. What we are seeing happen in Canada will very likely become part of the motivation that gets the United States to finally act. Thank you, Canada. ”

On June 19, 2016, at the 2016 Citizens’ Climate Lobby Conference in Washington DC, over 900 CCLers committed to passing carbon fee and dividend leglislation in the USA by the end of 2017.

Especially this week, you can help create political will for carbon fee and dividend from home on your computer. Currently the government Canada is weighing online feedback. We have been advised by a very reliable source in Ottawa to comment online as much as possible especially by July 1, 2016. Canadians, Americans and anyone around the world can comment online at the Government of Canada’s Let’s Talk Climate Website. Here are just a few carbon pricing ideas you can cheer for online at the government of Canada’s website.

In the next year, over 37,000 Citizens’ Climate Lobby supporters will be working towards creating the political will for a liveable world. In doing this work, we are not only protecting the climate for children around the world and into the future, we are also honouring the child in us that knows deep down the impossible is possible.

We are all far more powerful than we can imagine. We can make a difference by commenting online, especially this week.

Happy commenting and Merci, Miigwich, Gracias and Thank You for being on the journey with CCL from me to WE!

 

Cathy Orlando has put her words to work for the climate by getting letters and opinion pieces published in newspapers in every province in Canada. When she’s not safeguarding the climate alongside the best volunteers on the planet, you can probably find her stargazing, dancing, reading books not about climate change, hanging out with her husband Sanjiv, and mothering her three cherished daughters.