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Donna Melcher explains the concept of Carbon Fee & Dividend

On Monday, November 18 Donna Melcher from the Citizens Climate lobby visited the Sandy Springs Rotary Club to explain the concept of a Carbon Fee & Dividend plan.

She began her presentation with this question: "How many of you have an opinion about climate change." After the laughter dissipated she explained that she was there to talk the environment that we all share. Donna took time to apply our Rotarian Four Way Test to a problem in which our Rotary International President Barry Rassin describes as one of Rotary's ultimate missions. More about Barry's thoughts can be found here:

Is it the true? “The state of the agreement” is that 97% of scientist that were asked agree that that climate change is real, and it’s mostly caused by humans, and it’s mostly about greenhouse gasses (so it is 8th grade science) and something we need to pay attention to. Not one to be denied, she supplied accredited verification of the previous statement.

Is it fair to all concerned? NO, she says. It is unfair because the people who are being affected most are usually poor, unequipped and least able to adapt.

Will it build goodwill and better friendships? That’s up to us, she notes. The way to solve problems is through dialog. Having conversations in which we understand and listen to each other while keeping in mind that environmental problems will affect us all. If we approach solutions in way that brings people together rather than wedging them apart, it will build better friendships and good will.

Will it be beneficial to all concerned? If we have a stabilized climate, that is going to be good for all living beings.

She segwayed to the second part of her presentation with a single image of a chart displaying 800,000 years of what we all accept as cyclical climate change behavior.

The thing to notice here is the nearly vertical line (far right of the graph) showing the sharp rise in CO2 levels since the industrial revolution.

Donna used the chart to illustrate why she is doing all she can to help save the environment. She then launched into a plain english description of a plan that could one day have governmental implementation to help curb CO2 emissions. The plan is called Carbon Fee & Dividend.
She explained that the plan has the follow qualities:
1.) It’s revenue neutral
2.) It’s got bi-partisan support
3.) It’s good for the environment
4.) It’s good for the economy and
5.) It’s good for people.

She went on to explain that the plan gives a stable signal to the market that the cost of carbon based energy use is going to include all of its externalities. One of those externalities is the cost of pollution. At this point the cost of carbon-based energy becomes equal to or competitive with clean energy sources. That equalization spurs innovation in the clean energy field which benefits everyone.

The fees assessed by in the selling of carbon-based energy would be distributed to the American public via checks that citizens could use in any way they choose.

The Carbon Fee & Dividend Act includes many other thoughtful sections for how to deal with Imports & exports, called a Carbon Border Adjustment, and even to military and governmental usage.

Mrs. Melcher capped her presentation with a request. She asked us as business leaders and social influences to take at look at what we’re doing now to help solve the climate challenge. And then asked if we would you consider working with Citizens Climate lobby? There are links included at the end of this article if you'd like to know more.

The Rotary Club of Sandy Springs would like to thank Mrs. Donna Melcher for her efforts and commitment to a cause that shares so many threads with our own Rotarian beliefs.

Donna Melcher presenting in 15 minutes a broad view of a Carbon Fee & Dividend plan.

At the end of her presentation, Donna played a ethereal, graceful melody called New Beginnings on a native American drone flute. She was accompanied by John Pruitt (not to be mistaken with WSB-TV's John Pruitt) on his acoustic guitar.

Want to learn more about the native American Drone Flute?

Pictured here is Nancy Schroeder, 2019-2020 President of the Sandy Springs Rotary Club and Donna Melcher of Citizens Climate Lobby.

Short biographical information about Donna can be found here:
Find out more about the Citizens Climate Lobby by clicking here:
These photos and many more in their original resolution can be found here:
More information about the Fee and Dividend plan for carbon pricing can be found here:
Donna can be reached at:

Posted by Todd Lawrimore
November 18, 2019 12:00pm