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Local chapter of Citizens Climate Lobby forming

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Local chapter of Citizens Climate Lobby forming

Sopris Sun Staff Report

A local group of Roaring Fork Valley residents is gearing up to lobby for a nonpartisan solution to what they say is one of the most challenging issue of all time — climate change.

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The group is the newest chapter of Citizens Climate Lobby, a fast-growing national nonprofit that recruits and trains citizens to lobby their own members of Congress for climate legislation, according to a press release.

The Roaring Fork group will hold an introductory training led by CCL Executive Director Mark Reynolds at the Third Street Center at 9:30 a.m. on Oct. 19. Anyone interested in attending should RSVP to Dave Reed at 970-366-8766.

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Reynolds will also give a free public talk in Aspen titled “How a (Climate) Bill Becomes Law” at the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies at 5:30 p.m. on Oct. 18.

“Climate change is the greatest challenge facing our generation,” said Carbondale resident Dave Reed, one of the organizers of the new Roaring Fork group. “The single most effective way to combat it is by putting a price on carbon emissions, and so the highest-leverage thing we can do as citizens is to tell our members of Congress that that’s what we want.”

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Reed said Saturday’s session will train participants to speak powerfully to their elected officials, the media and their local community in order to inspire members of Congress to be leaders and spokespersons for a sustainable climate.

Founded in 2007 with a mission to “create the political will for a stable climate,” Citizens Climate Lobby currently has 130 local groups, and is doubling in size annually. The Roaring Fork CCL group will be the first in Colorado’s Third Congressional District.

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Citizens Climate Lobby is scrupulously non-partisan, according to Reed, and sees Republicans as essential to any action on climate change. The group’s market-based “carbon fee and dividend” legislative proposal transcends economic ideologies and therefore has a realistic chance of bridging the political divide, he said.

Citizens Climate Lobby’s profile has been boosted recently by the endorsement of well-known climate change activist Dr. James Hansen. “If you want to join the fight to save the planet, to save creation for your grandchildren, there is no more effective step you could take than becoming an active member of this group,” Hansen has stated.

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Citizens Climate Lobby was founded in 2007 by California resident Marshall Saunders, a former real estate broker specializing in shopping center development and leasing, according to the group’s website.

“When I became alarmed about the changing climate in 2006, I began giving talks about global warming to … 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,” Saudners states on the website. “I realized that anything my listeners intended to do as individuals was totally swamped by public policy, by what the government did or did not do. … I saw that people who are concerned about the climate, needed … training. Now in our fourth year … our partners have had more than 400 Congressional meetings in the last two years.”

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