Fort Collins’ Pub Talks — climate, conversation, and beer

By Ron Dickson, Fort Collins chapter

Fort Collins’ CCL chapter has initiated an exciting grassroots and grasstops outreach partnership with Odell Brewing Company. Discussions between CCL members and Odell staff about shared values and goals, including Odell’s sustainability vision, led to a “Pub Talk” concept focused on nonpartisan climate education for the Fort Collins community.

Initially envisioned as one event, the scope quickly evolved, expanding into a series of talks about climate, over beers. Three monthly talks were scheduled for January through March, and then expanded into April. This grew into a chapter team event requiring multiple speakers and coordination.

Topics have covered a range of issues. The January talk focused on the recently passed Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), its impact on emissions, and hurdles likely to be faced in implementing the new legislation.

February’s talk focused on policies — primarily market-based approaches — that could complement the IRA’s tax incentive and rebate approach to fully achieve the emission reductions pledged in the Paris Accord. Well known to many within CCL, Dr. Anders Fremstad, CSU Associate Professor of Economics, joined this conversation.

March’s topic was “Incentives for Building Electrification and Efficiency.” With input from the Larimer County Climate Smart and Future Ready program, the talk focused on residential and commercial business emissions. This included discussing tax incentives and rebates available to households and businesses to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. Topics included specific initiatives and resources that can help develop a personal action plan. This talk has built connections for attendees with city and county staff. It also moved the Fort Collins chapter into CCL’s Building Electrification and Efficiency policy area and increased volunteer engagement.

The April talk will be given by Odell Brewing and will focus on their efforts to reduce their GHG emissions, including a planned CO2 capture system.

The Pub Talk series will culminate with a tabling event during the week of Earth Day 2023. After a warm weather break, there is some discussion on holding additional talks next winter. A big thanks goes out to Odell Brewing! And we are grateful for the efforts of Judy Gates, Frank Hruby, Jim Hand, Jim Gruel, and Eric DeCourcy for preparing, advertising, and delivering these talks.