“After I had given just a few talks about the climate, I realized that the actions I was suggesting to my listeners to take, while essential, were not a match for the problem. I realized that anything they intended to do would be swamped by what the government did or did not do. I realized that ordinary people like me would have to organize, educate ourselves, give up our hopelessness and powerlessness, and gain the skills to be effective with our government.”
Our Founder’s Statement July 8, 2011
My name is Marshall Saunders and I live in Coronado, CA. My professional career was real estate brokerage specializing in shopping center development and leasing.
When I became alarmed about the changing climate in 2006, I began giving talks about global warming to service clubs, high schools, universities, and whoever else would listen. However, at the end of each talk I felt that the solutions I offered were not a match for the problem. I realized that anything my listeners intended to do as individuals was totally swamped by public policy, by what the government did or didn’t do. While I suggested ways for people to reduce their use of carbon, congress extended a law that gave $18 billion in subsidies to oil and coal companies.
It seemed to me that Congress was doing things exactly backwards. Why? Because it is dominated by special interests, in this case the fossil fuel industry. In my heart I knew something else was at play: Ordinary people were not asking their members of Congress for anything regarding climate change, not in an organized and effective way. Furthermore, they didn’t know what to do or how to do it, nor did they have self-confidence and support they needed. Citizens Climate Lobby’s purpose is to change all that by empowering individuals to have breakthroughs in exercising their personal and political power and by gaining the tools to be effective with government.
And how did I know anything about that? I’ve been lobbying Congress as a volunteer with RESULTS for 17 years. RESULTS creates the political will for the end of hunger and poverty. I saw that people who are concerned about the climate, needed that same training. I couldn’t find a place where people could go to learn it, so on October 7th, 2007, I started Citizens Climate Lobby. Now in November of 2013, Citizens Climate Lobby has about 141 lobby teams throughout the USA and Canada and one in Sweden.
I invite you to listen to one of our Introductory Calls, which take place each Wednesday at 5:00 PM Pacific, 8:00 PM Eastern. The Introductory Call is the first step. I believe Citizens Climate Lobby is a powerful way for us to create the political will for a livable world.