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Faith communities and climate change

I loved Bishop Wolfgang Herz-Lane's oped about the Pope's call for climate action and the fact that congregations of all faiths are cutting institutional emissions and urging members to lower their carbon footprints ("Climate change: the moral challenge of our time," July 9).

Faith leaders are calling for state legislation to cut emissions and increase renewables and they should also encourage their communities to lobby Congress for national legislation.

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It seems impossible for Congress to enact climate legislation, but Citizens' Climate Lobby saw hope during our June lobby days in Washington.

We visited almost every congressional office, where we were constantly asked for more information about our policy proposal — a revenue-neutral carbon fee paid by fossil fuel producers and rebated to the public.

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Members of Congress asked about studies projecting the impact of CCL's carbon fee proposal on the economy in their regions and elsewhere. It seemed to me that Congress wants this data to fashion a carbon pricing system that equitably considers everyone's needs.

It reminded me of the Pope's encyclical, in which he says "we cannot presume to heal our relationship with nature and the environment without healing all fundamental human relationships."

When congressional colleagues discard empty dogma and speak to each other with respect and concern for others' needs, they'll negotiate fair climate legislation.

CCL volunteers are trained to approach elected officials with gratitude for their service, and to listen respectfully. We hope to heal the relationship between constituents and Congress, and between humans, our energy needs and our environment. Please join us.

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Judy Weiss, Brookline, Mass.

The writer is a member of the Citizens' Climate Lobby.

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