Episode 88: The College Carbon Fee and Dividend Climate Change Movement + Episode 89: The Best New Climate Change Books and Podcasts

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Woman posing with an animal holding a sign.Episode 88: The College Carbon Fee and Dividend Climate Change Movement

In episode 88 of Citizens’ Climate Radio, we dive into the passion and action of young climate activists, exploring their journeys from concern to meaningful action. Host, Peterson Toscano leads the conversation, spotlighting the endeavors of students like Emily O’Keefe and Helen Tiffin in fostering awareness about climate change and feasible solutions, focusing particularly on the carbon fee and dividend policy.

From Concern to Action

Emily O’Keefe, a student at the College of William and Mary, candidly shared her progression from a state of existential concern about climate change to actively seeking out impactful solutions. Emily’s journey started with a realization about the importance of sustainable living and protecting the environment. This ultimately led her to a gap year where she could detach and reconnect with nature by hiking the Appalachian Trail.

“I want to do something really big about climate change. And I’m just trying to figure out how can I do that.” – Emily O’Keefe

Evolving Ideas & Shared Enthusiasm

Emily’s initial idea to start a social movement was supported and molded by her friends, like Helen Tiffin. They delved deep into discussions about the nature of the movement and the message it should convey.

Emily O’Keefe holds signs advocating for a carbon fee and dividend.

Eventually, she was introduced to the carbon fee and dividend policy by a friend, Philip Ignatoff. This policy became the focal point of their movement due to its effectiveness and tangible impact.

Helen Tiffin supported Emily’s enthusiasm, remarking on the nonpartisan nature and wide appeal of the carbon fee and dividend idea, noting, “It really is something that we can all agree upon.”


Emily’s initial idea to start a social movement was supported and molded by her friends, like Helen Tiffin. They delved deep into discussions about the nature of the movement and the message it should convey. Eventually, she was introduced to the carbon fee and dividend policy by a friend, Philip Ignatoff. This policy became the focal point of their movement due to its effectiveness and tangible impact.

Carbon Fee & Dividend – An Equitable Solution

The carbon fee and dividend policy essentially imposes a fee on corporations extracting fossil fuels, making fossil fuel-intensive products more expensive and thereby encouraging consumers to opt for more sustainable alternatives. Importantly, the policy also includes an equitable dividend system where the revenue from the fees is distributed equally among Americans.

“So that actually makes it so that the majority of Americans, around two-thirds, will actually break even or profit from the money coming back to them in this cashback form, than they have to pay in increased prices.” – Emily O’Keefe

Building a Movement

Emily, Helen, and their friends engaged in creating signs which read: Most Effective Climate Policy #carbonfeeanddividend bit.ly/writecongresshere

They raised awareness on their campus, and beyond and fostered a ‘snowball effect’, enabling more and more students and people to recognize and understand the carbon fee and dividend policy, spreading across multiple universities and leveraging online platforms like Instagram for greater reach.

Their campaign also linked to direct actions, creating templates for people to write to Congress and advocate for the policy. “It is all about spreading that awareness and education and whatever form it presents itself,” Helen stated.Sustaining Impact & Longevity

The Carbon Fee and Dividend Movement initiated by Emily and her friends has found a stable home base within the Citizens’ Climate Lobby’s Higher Education Team, ensuring the sustainability and longevity of their efforts.

“We are going to be partnered with Fridays For Future in advocating for this…This will bring a lot of power to the movement.” – Emily O’Keefe

Emphasizing the nonpartisan and optimistic values of the Citizens’ Climate Lobby, Emily believes in the importance of embodying these values for the successful advancement of the movement. They continue to use platforms like Slack to coordinate efforts across various chapters and provide resources to aid climate work.

Follow the Carbon Fee and Dividend Movement on Instagram and visit their website


This episode sheds light on the relentless spirit of young activists, their journey of transforming concern into impactful action, and the communal spirit that propels the movement forward. Their dedication to spreading awareness about the carbon fee and dividend as an effective and equitable solution is not just inspiring but is paving the way for a more informed and resilient climate movement.

Take a Meaningful Next Step

Each month we will suggest meaningful, achievable, and measurable next steps for you to consider. We recognize that action is an antidote to despair. If you are struggling with what you can do, consider one of the following next steps. 

Listen Now!

Resilience Corner

Tamara Staton

Tamara Staton, CCL’s Education and Resilience Coordinator, recently introduced a new series, “Resilient Climateteering through Crazy Climate Connections,” focusing on actionable insights related to climate awareness and playful curiosity.

In this installment Tamara illustrates a parallel between the mental and physical benefits of high-intensity exercises like burpees and the sense of hope derived from proactive climate actions. This connection emphasizes the importance of maintaining a balance between mental stimulation and actionable insight to foster hope and resilience against the adverse effects of climate change.

Get more tips and resources by visiting The Resilience Hub

New CCR Team Members!

Citizens’ Climate Radio is welcoming three new team members, Lily Russian, Horace, and Karina Taylee, who will be regular voices on the platform. Lily is a political science major and environmental science minor at Trinity College, whose passion for the environment was ignited by her experience at the Island School, a program focused on sustainability and marine biology. She enjoys playing the ukulele and emphasizes intentional living for a sustainable future. Horace, a recent graduate from the University of Michigan and an environmental specialist, has had a lifelong connection to nature, instilled by his family’s trips immersed in the natural beauty of his hometown in Chongqing, China. He is dedicated to promoting sustainability and addressing climate change to preserve the environment for future generations. You will meet the third new member, Karina Taylee, next month.

Good News 

Shelterwood Collective, a non-profit focusing on communal healing and ecosystem restoration on 900 acres in Northern California, is the focus of this month’s Good News Story. CCR team member Lila Powell researched, wrote, and recorded the story about the indigenous, black, and queer-led group that uses Kashia and southern Pomo traditions in forest restoration, involving controlled burns and invasive species removal. In 2022, they received a $4.5 million grant to enhance their restoration efforts. The collective also uses art, focusing on interconnected ecosystems, to inspire community involvement and is developing a center to foster environmental relationships and inclusivity. 

If you’re looking for more good news and you want to connect with other climate advocates who refuse to give up, then check out Grassroots Rising Leveling up in the Climate Fight. This is CCLs fall virtual conference November 4 and 5, 2023. You will hear speakers like CNN correspondent and author Van Jones. Plus there’s a special plenary presentation by our very own Dana Nuccitelli, host of the Nerd Corner. For more information and free registration, visit the Grassroots Rising Leveling up in the Climate Fight webpage.  

Episode 89: The Best New Climate Change Books and Podcasts

As a climate advocate, you want to stay well informed, up to date, and equipped in the work you do. On today’s show the Citizens’ Climate Radio Team will help you do just that. In today’s show they feature the newest and best books and podcasts related to climate advocacy. They also speak to the creators behind these excellent new resources. 

New Nonfiction about Climate Change

1. The Twenty-One, The True Story of the Youth Who Sued the U.S. Government over Climate Change by Elizabeth Rusch

“I feel like we adults need kids to tell us the obvious, and the obvious is that all citizens do have a constitutional right to a stable climate. There is no life, no liberty and no property without a stable climate and their government, our government should not be allowed to continue to contribute to this problem.” – Elizabeth Rusch, author of The 21.

This book dives into the ongoing landmark federal climate change lawsuit Juliana versus the United States of America. She introduces us to the 21 young people who came from different states to sue the US government. They have accused the federal government of denying them their constitutional right to life and liberty by not acting to address the causes of climate change. Elizabeth sat down with us to tell stories from the book. You’ll hear about young people courageously stepping up in a big way and the importance of this historic case.

“Not only should more people pay attention to the case, we believe anyone reading Elizabeth’s book will be inspired to do great things.” – Horace Mo

Follow Elizabeth Rusch on X. She is also on Instagram

2. California Against the Sea: Visions for our Vanishing Coastline by Rosanna Xia

“When I first submitted my manuscript to my book editor and she read just the entirety of what I was trying to write, she said, wow, this feels like such an incredible blend of old school journalism, radical listening, and deep hanging out.” -Rosanna Xia, author of California Against the Sea

The author tells us about the big themes that emerge in the book. She also shares expert tips for the work we do as climb advocates connecting with the public and public officials. Oh, and she talks about hope. How much hope should we include in our stories? Can sharing too much hope make people complacent?

“This is not a dry book with nonstop facts and figures. Instead, Rosanna brings together a community of vibrant stories and memorable people. Through these human connections Rosanna explores issues like private ownership along the coast, public accessibility to nature and the need to build resilient communities and infrastructure, even if you’re not a Californian.” -Karina Taylee

Follow Rosanna Xia on X and read more of her writing at the LA Times

3. Am I Too Old to Save the Planet? A Boomer’s Guide to Climate Action by Lawrence MacDonald

“We’ve reached a point where an individual action is going to be too little too late. And so we really need collective action to have rapid policy change. And that’s one of the reasons that I am actually a big admirer of Citizens Climate Lobby. The idea of carbon fee and dividend I think is a very powerful driver for action. I think that can be very powerful. And it’s going to need a bipartisan consensus.” -Lawrence MacDonald, author, Am I Too Old to Save the Planet?

This book delves into how the generation with the potential to enact change allowed climate issues to escalate into a global crisis – and offers solutions.Lawrence MacDonald, a former international correspondent and former vice president of the World Resources Institute, shares his personal transformation into a dedicated climate advocate. Brimming with actionable insights, this book may be the gift that opens us a meaningful conversation with a grandparent or older relative. 

“Lawrence hopes younger people like me will use his book to help us connect with older Americans about climate change.” -Horace Mo

Follow Lawrence MacDonald on X and read his writing on Medium. 

4. The Quickening: Creation and Community at the End of the World by Elizabeth Rush

In 2019 57, scientist and crew embarked on the ship the Nathaniel B. Palmer. They were there to explore Thwaites Glacier. This is a mysterious and potentially catastrophic site for global sea level rise. Elizabeth Rush’s new book, The Quickening, chronicles their journey. She mixes sublime moments like seeing icebergs up close. With everyday activities like ping pong and lab work. It also delves into the personal question of bringing a child into a changing world. This Antarctica story also focuses on imagining a better future understanding the continent’s history, and highlighting the roles of women and people of color and expeditions

Hear Elizabeth Rush talking about her first book, Rising: Dispatches from the New American Shore. She appeared in Episode 26 of Citizens’ Climate Radio, Deep Water. 

“In Rising, Rush wove in narratives from coastal residents around the USA, along with her own research and personal reflections about sea level rise. It was beautifully written in a way that humanized global warming for me. In her newest book, Quickening, she is back to weaving stories while helping us nudge nearer to the biggest story of our time, Climate Change.” -Peterson Toscano

The Ultimate Climate Fiction (Cli-Fi) List

Dr. Krista Hiser has been a regular guest and contributor to Citizens’ Climate Radio. She helps educators find creative ways to incorporate climate change into the curriculum. She does this work in several ways. Currently she is the Senior Lead and Advisor for advancing Sustainability Education over at the Global Council for Science and the Environment. She is also a professor of Composition & Rhetoric. But perhaps one of her most exciting endeavors is a successful online group she started. It’s called The Ultimate Cli-Fi Book Club. She shares four books that will help deepen your understanding of climate change and empathy for everyone impacted by extreme weather and global warming. 

  1. Night in the World by Sharon English
  2. A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller Jr.
  3. The Man with the Compound Eyes by Wu Ming-Yi, Darryl Sterk (Translator)
  4. The Ministry for the Future by Kim Stanley Robinson
  5. The Memory of Water by Emmi Itžranta 

Here are some books and authors that have been featured on Citizens Climate Radioa87b65c44a928cf746e61db81c6271b2-huge-sn

  1. Mr. Eternity by Aaron Thier, Episode 10.
  2. Gold Fame Citrus by Claire Vaye Watkins, Episode 22.
  3. Code Blue and Code Red by Marissa Slaven, Episodes 33 and 65.

Find even more books on this lists

Six podcasts that creatively address climate change

  1. Green Tea Party Radio

“It’s really hard finding content out there for environmental conservatives, in particular, young environmental conservative, 18 to 25, within that age range, you know, high school, college, young professional. I had known Hannah and Zach from working at Citizens’ Climate Lobby and we would bump into each other at conferences, and while we were all there, we were all talking. We all kind of looked at each other, and we said, “Well, what if we made something to kind of fill that gap?” – Katie Zakrzewski, co-host of Green Tea Party Radio.

This podcast is produced by three young Conservatives for other young Conservatives. Katie Zakrzewski, Zach Torpie, and Hannah Rogers offer fresh perspectives on climate change as they offer up conservative friendly solutions. No matter where you fall in the political spectrum, this podcast fosters productive discussions around this critical global issue

2. The Change: Women, Technology and the Anthropocene

“The future is looking especially uncertain, and I really wanted the podcast for it to be sort of an opportunity for people like yourself, who are young people, or people who are looking to make a change in their life, to understand what they can do, to sort of get involved in the climate space, but be that professionally or on social level.” -Zara Amer, producer of The Change podcast

The Change podcast brings together women who bridge some of the boundaries that exist and persist between women and technology in the Anthropocene. 

Learn more about the podcast and the other programs offered through The Climate Change Project

3. EcoRight Speaks Podcast hosted by Chelsea Henderson

This is another Conservative Climate Change podcast that’s been around for a couple of years. EcoRight Speaks, is a project of RepublicEN, the group founded by Bob Inglis, former US representative from South Carolina and a member of the CCL advisory board. He appears in Episode 57 The Tide is Rising.

4. Climate Changed hosted by Nicole Diroff and Ben Yosua-David

The Climate Changed podcast speaks directly to faith leaders and community leaders. It is sponsored by The BTS Center in Portland, Maine. Their goal is to develop spiritual leadership for a climate-changed world.

5. Sustainable Cents hosted by Veda Ganesan

Veda, a high school student and an active volunteer with Citizens’ Climate Youth, dives into all things money, economy, investing, climate, and environment, one episode at a time.

6. America Adapts, hosted by Doug Parsons

The America Adapts podcast explores the challenges presented by adapting to climate change, the global movement that has begun to drive change, and the approaches that are already working.

Take a meaningful next step

Each month we will suggest meaningful, achievable, and measurable next steps for you to consider. We recognize that action is an antidote to despair. If you are struggling with what you can do, consider one of the following next steps. 

  1. Podcast Engagement
  • Subscribe and listen to one of the recommended climate change podcasts.
  • Share the knowledge and insights you gain with your friends.
  • Whenever possible, rate and review the podcasts to boost their visibility.
  • Increased listenership and discussions can accelerate climate change awareness and action.
  1. Carbon Fee and Dividend Movement (For College Students)
  • Explore the Carbon Fee and Dividend movement, which advocates for effective climate policies.They creatively engage college students, faculty, and staff in their campaigns. This movement also facilitates direct connections with lawmakers
  • Utilize the hashtag #carbonfeeanddividend on social media.
  • Learn more at CFDmovement.com and follow them on Instagram @carbonfeeanddividend.
  1. Citizens’ Climate Lobby National Youth Action Team (For Middle and High School Students)
  1. Additional Climate Action Resource (For anyone at any time)
  • For those seeking more ways to take action, explore the action page at CCLusa.org/action.

Listen Now!

Meet Karina Taylee, a new CCR Team Member

Karina Taylee hails from the vibrant cultural mosaic of Miami, Florida, where she’s witnessed the firsthand impacts of climate change. Miami’s diverse heritage, with Latin bakeries and conversations in Spanish, is deeply cherished by Karina.

Her resolve to protect her city led her to become a CCL volunteer in 2021, now serving as a liaison with her district, setting up lobbying appointments with congressional offices. Through this journey, she discovered a community of dedicated individuals, who foster her aspirations in science communication as she pursues a master’s degree in Global Strategic Communications. Karina aims to creatively share the climate movement’s story at Citizens Climate Radio, emphasizing that everyone plays a vital role in overcoming climate change. When not advocating, she enjoys beach time with her three adorable dogs and looks forward to connecting with the audience en español in upcoming episodes. 

Karina is currently working on a new CCR limited podcast series, Voces del Cambio: Explorando el Clima en Latinoamérica. Voices of Change, exploring climate in Latin America.

Good News 

Lila Powell tells us about Virginia’s annual Clean the Bay Day, which she experienced this year. It has been an important tradition since 1989. Thousands of volunteers gather on the first Saturday of June for a three-hour cleanup of the Chesapeake Bay watershed. This year, over 4,000 volunteers removed 114 pounds of debris, including surprising finds like a plastic hippo and a packaged pork tenderloin. The cleanup significantly benefits the ecosystem and engages the community. While it’s specific to Virginia, those in the Chesapeake Bay watershed can participate in their own cleanups. Visit cbf.org/clean to join the cause..

Listener Survey

We want to hear your feedback about this episode. After you listen, feel free to fill in this short survey. Your feedback will help us as we make new decisions about the content, guests, and style of the show. You can fill it out anonymously and answer whichever questions you like. 

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Posted by Brett Cease on Oct 27, 2023 1:10 PM America/Los_Angeles

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