My name is Terezie Cizkova, and I am a 17 year old girl from Czech Republic. I want to share with you my story about why I think we need to put a price on carbon, and why I think we need to care about climate change.
My story started roughly one year ago, when I first heard about climate change, thanks to the Ian Somerhalder Foundation. I have been a part of this extraordinary organization for a year and four months. I remember watching the Paris Agreement online, I was very confused but also very interested at once in knowing more about this issue. I was learning every single day, and every new day brought me something new into my mind. I live in a country that doesn’t really have any huge effects of climate change, but that doesn't mean that it doesn’t exist. It's real. Climate change is not a thing that’s used in our daily conversations. What we truly need to do is empower and educate each other about what is happening globally, but we need to act locally. No matter where we live, climate change will impact the whole world if we will don't act.
I heard about carbon pricing from the very first story Nikki Reed posted on her social media account. Putting a price on carbon? “What does that mean?” I asked myself. How we can achieve that? It's also happening in Europe? I searched for answers. I discovered a lot of European countries such as Germany, Spain, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Netherlands, Switzerland and more are very well known for their work in clean energy. This is what we need to do all over the world, but if we want to truly leave the fossil fuel industry behind us for good, we must put a price on carbon.
Polluters are sending too much carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, and the biggest problem is that our planet has to pay for the damage that the fossil fuel industry created. But why is this dirty energy the most cheap and affordable kind of power? Why are people so afraid to accept the truth that the human race is the main reason of why is climate change happening? How we can make fossil fuels unaffordable? Putting a price on carbon is a very viable answer to those questions. If we increase the cost of fossil fuels, we level the playing field for renewable energy.
Okay, let's be honest - we all have some carbon footprint, I have a carbon footprint. We all are contributing in some way to the changes in our climate by sending more and more pollution into the air. If we stop for a moment and think about our own actions: Do I really want to damage the climate and whole planet? All the actions that we are doing every single day - driving by a car to our work or school, flying by plane, building all the new buildings in our country, lighting our lights, fracking and polluting our water - all these things will be damaging our planet more and more, until we will don't switch to the another form of energy - clean energy. Our planet can't pay for our mistakes and for our comfort anymore. The polluters needs to pay for it. And this is what the carbon pricing campaign is about.
Tom Erb is the National Field Organizer for the Put A Price On It Campaign and is based out of Claremont, Ca. He is a junior at Pomona College and studies Public Policy Analysis. Prior to the campaign, Erb was the Congressional Liaison for the #4Billion4Us campaign, a climate intern for United States Senator Brian Schatz and a communications intern for Congressman Eric Swalwell. His work began as President of a carbon pricing campaign at the Claremont Colleges and he continues to work to address climate change and lift up the youth voice outside of the campaign. He is from San Diego, CA. Tom can be reached at email@example.com.
Licia is the current Board of Directors President and former Program Director for Our Climate. After relocating to Portland from the Chicago area in 2015, Licia joined our staff as the Program Director, leading efforts in our Salmon on the Square and Youth Lobby Day events. She has since started at Lewis and Clark Law School where she is receiving a Masters of Environmental, Natural Resources, and Energy Law and remaining involved with Our Climate at the Board level.
A lifelong environmentalist, Licia received her bachelor’s degree in International Studies with a concentration in Environmentally Sustainable Development. Post-college, she became a writer at Groupon where she co-founded a Green Committee and worked with department heads to create and/or enhance the company’s environmental initiatives. She then worked as a start-up consultant for a B-corp in India, Mana Organics, which sells organic tea and produce and uses profits to train rural farmers on organic farming methods. Just prior to her work with Our Climate, Licia was the executive director for an after-school program and resource center for low-income, Latino families in the Chicago area. She brings her experiences in international development, social justice, and environmental policy to Our Climate and is most passionate about engaging other young people in the process!
Sam is a sophomore at Claremont McKenna College (CMC) dual majoring in EEP (Environment, Economics, Politics) and Philosophy. He’s passionate environmental sustainability because he wants to provide future generations with an earth that has the economic viability and natural beauty that characterizes it today. He believes that to mitigate climate change, decrease reliance on dirty energy, and increase competition in the green energy market, it is necessary to organize around carbon pricing legislation, like a Fee and Dividend. At CMC, he’s a fellow with the Put A Price On it Campaign, fellow with Strategic Energy Innovations, member of Model United Nations, president of CCL Claremont Colleges, co-lead of Food Recovery Network, Chair of the Senate's Environmental Concerns Committee, and student baker at the Motley. In his free time, Sam likes walking around to find fresh fruit, hiking, working out, brewing kombucha, discussing current events, and spending time with family and friends. Connect with him at https://www.linkedin.com/in/samhbecker
Leyana is a senior at Sarah Lawrence College in New York State, where she studies Spanish and environmental science/policy, among other eclectic topics. She was active in the anti-hydrofracking movement in NY as a high school student, and continues to be involved in environmental and social justice organizing in college. She is excited about using public policy to fight climate change.
Grace Galletti is a sophomore at Brown University, majoring in Environmental Engineering. She grew up in Paris, France and is passionate about environmental sustainability. As an international student, she realizes the global extent of climate change. She believe's this is the biggest and most pressing issue that humankind is facing. As an environmental engineer, she hopes to create solutions to environmental problems. However, technology can only bring us so far, which is why she is very excited to work on the campaign to put a price on carbon. In her free time, she loves to do gymnastics, go rock climbing and be a part of the Brown Outing Club.
Shana Gallagher believes that climate change is the most urgent and pressing problem that faces every single one of us, no matter our backgrounds or personalities or location on the globe, and that environmental organizing needs to become more mainstream. To address this crisis, we're all going to need to get behind bold and effective policies, like a price on carbon. More importantly, she understands that the biggest obstacle to a clean energy future is the power of the fossil fuel industry, and that a price on carbon is one of the few remedies to this reality. Shana's drive to protect the planet comes from a lifelong awe and admiration for the oceans, but she now focuses on making general environmental organizing accessible for everyone. She is a rising senior at Tufts University, studying Biology and Environmental Studies.