Episode 73: Beginnings & Transformations

Citizens’ Climate Radio Ep. 73: Beginnings & Transformations

By Peterson Toscano

We are celebrating the sixth anniversary of Citizens’ Climate Radio, and a big theme you will hear in this episode is about breakthroughs and transformations. From the very beginning, Citizens’ Climate Lobby’s mission has been to create the political will for a livable world by enabling individual breakthroughs in the exercise of personal and political power. That was definitely the theme in the very first interviews Citizens Climate Radio’s host, Peterson Toscano, conducted with Marshall Saunders, founder of CCL, and Mark Reynolds, the organization’s first executive director. 

Peterson decided to revisit these interviews, remaster them, and share them with you. Marshall and Mark’s personal stories of transformation are inspiring and, at times, hilarious, especially when they talk about the first tentative and even ridiculous steps they took to start the organization. Their belief in the power of everyday people doing extraordinary things will move you. In fact, you may want to have some tissues nearby as you listen to Marshall and Mark share their stories and the story of Citizens Climate Lobby’s beginnings. 

Madeleine Para, CCL’s current executive director, was also featured in that first episode. You will hear her original vision for this podcast. Additionally, she shares her first lobbying experience. Madeleine touches on the difficulty of climate advocacy, while also acknowledging the importance of connections and hope throughout the process. 

From the recent past, we bring the story forward to today. You will meet one of the newest Citizens’ Climate staff members, Steffanie Munguía, the Student Engagement Manager. Steffanie is a Ph.D. student researching Coastal Wetlands Management in the Caribbean, her first home. She has a deep interest in policy, and centers her research around the different social, political, and economic factors that influence the environmental state of the Caribbean. Steffanie gives us an update on the many ways the organization has changed over the years all while staying faithful to CCL’s core values of optimism, integrity, relationships, personal power, diversity, and a constant commitment to bipartisanism. These are the values that draw more and more middle school, high school, and college-aged volunteers into the organization. 

The Art House

Jodi Heights is a singer/songwriter. In the sea of singer-songwriters, Jodi stands out. Not only does she have a classically-honed technique that captures a Broadway style in her voice, and contemporary rock in her piano playing, she also writes brilliant lyrics that dive deep into everyday life. Her songs can be playful and heartbreaking.

Recently she was moved to write a song about our world, which Citizens’ Climate Radio Ep. 73: Beginnings & Transformationsis being rocked by the impacts of climate change. In The Iceberg she imagines an alien classroom in the future looking back to the history of earthlings and the lessons they can draw from human error. Jodi tells us about The Iceberg and then performs it for us.

You can hear the standalone version of The Art House at Artists and Climate Change

Good News Report

You will hear about a brand new climate curriculum for schools. It will provide engaging, informed, and action-driven lessons for middle-school teachers and students. Sharon Bagatell, Citizens Climate’s National Youth Action Team Coordinator first announced the completion of the new curriculum at this month’s Citizens Climate International Conference. She tells us about the project and just how special the curriculum will be for teachers and learners. 

If you have good news you want to share on the show, or if you have an idea for the art house, email Peterson at or leave a message at our new listener voicemail. The number is (619) 512-9646.

Connect with other listeners, suggest program ideas, and respond to episodes in the Citizens’ Climate Radio Facebook group or on Twitter at @CitizensCRadio.

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To hear a preview of the conversations from this week’s episode, watch the video below.

https://youtube.com/shorts/glQinUVUqUo