Building Bridges

From September 12th to 14th, Governor Jerry Brown will convene the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco. If the nation won’t, California will. The summit will bring together leaders of all stripes: elected, appointed, and self-defined leaders from around the world. It is intended to be a launchpad for “worldwide commitments and accelerated action from countries—supported by all sectors of society—that can put the globe on track to prevent dangerous climate change and realize the historic Paris Agreement.”

Hundreds of affiliate events will take place in San Francisco and around the world September 10-14. The affiliate event that really caught my attention was the Carbon Tax Forum. (Oh my god, I’ve become a complete and total climate nerd. Seriously, Carbon Tax Forum is the thing that caught my eye???)

Here’s why I’m psyched. I’ve been ranting ad nauseam (is that really a thing?) that the silver lining of climate change is that it requires us to come together (despite and because of) and behave and think in wildly new ways. That has my name all over it. I love to look at things from upside down and inside out. It gives me the goosebumps. I love situations and opportunities that bring unlikely people together to tackle something bigger than their small selves.

The Carbon Tax Forum will explore “how carbon taxes tackle climate change, create jobs and stimulate the economy. The panels will analyze different carbon tax proposals, highlight current efforts to price carbon in the states and nationally, and discuss best practices for climate advocacy.”

It takes place on Thursday, September 13, 1-5:30pm at Gap Corporate Headquarters in San Francisco. There will be five panels—each discussing an aspect of pricing carbon. If you’re new to this conversation, the very simple, not at all nuanced explanation is that when individuals and businesses begin to pay the true price for fossil fuels (gas, oil and coal), clean energies (water, solar and hydro) will start to look a lot more appealing.

While I’m excited about discussing strategies for turning us away from fossil fuels to solar, water and hydro, I am even more excited about the bridge building that went into making this program happen. The panels are composed of folks from the left, right, and center. Unlikely folks–including elected officials, business leaders, foundations, economists, students, and environmental and social justice advocacy organizations–came together and designed a program that argues for carbon pricing. That’s a lot of deep listening and respectful planning. That’s a lot of bridge building.

If you going to San Francisco, be sure to wear some flowers in your hair. And check out the Carbon Tax Forum. Add your voice to the mix. There’s room for everyone. And a reception at the Gap Headquarters to follow the heady conversation. If you don’t want to lift yourself from the comfort of your couch, well then, register and watch it live-streamed for free!

And BTW—if you know about other climate change bridge building activities, please share!

4 comments on “Building Bridges

  1. Davia, I wonder how many of your readers got the “if you’re going to San Francisco …” song reference. I sure did! Age has its benefits …
    And I will be attending online.

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