Better Civics Justifies Hope

Remarks, as delivered, by Joseph Robertson on Sunday, June 10, to the 2018 Citizens’ Climate Lobby annual conference:

There is a quiet daring that happens in the person who says “I refuse to accept” what is not right.

Without that quiet moment of daring, the effort to confront the unacceptable cannot get started.

The work of making a better, freer, more livable world is in our hands.

We owe it to each other, and to those who will come after us, to go beyond zero-sum thinking, out-maneuver corrosive political actors, and build new value wherever human ingenuity allows.

To build on your hard work and dedication to make sure public service is more honorable than cynics would allow, our International Outreach Manager Cathy Orlando and our continental coordinators like Mike Terungwa and Tami Kellogg are working to build CCL groups everywhere around the planet.

  • CCL’s 100,000 citizen volunteers are now spread across 43 countries, on 6 continents.
  • We have created a Toolkit to allow any stakeholder anywhere to give input to the UN climate talks.
  • A series of diplomatic dialogues we co-host has led to the creation of Resilience Intel — an effort to empower leaders to shift all finance, at all levels, to climate-smart priorities, within 20 years.
  • The core concept on which Resilience Intel is founded — economy-wide resilience intelligence — will be delivered to ministers from 195 nations as guidance for this year’s negotiations.

Hope is a commitment to connect action to consequence.

Every bit of the energy you bring to this better civics justifies the natural hope of billions of people around the world that we will transcend the politics of fear and damage and build a future that works for people and for our planet’s life support systems.


You should know that other nations are inspired by how the American people have responded to government inaction.

As a result of the We Are Still In movement — whose collective climate action commitment eclipses that of nearly every nation on Earth — we are now talking about “economy-wide national climate action plans”, not just national policy pledges.

Your volunteering is part of that.

From our CCL volunteers around the world, and from our friends in the global negotiations, thank you for daring to be builders of inclusive political will, so we can go further faster together.

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