Marshall Saunders formed Citizens’ Climate Lobby in 2007. Dr. Hansen met Marshall in 2008 and, following a Price Carbon meeting in Washington at which Dr. Hansen and others spoke, Saunders decided to make fee-and-dividend the core objective of Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL). Prior to that, according to Marshall Saunders, “we were lobbying for cap-and-trade and offsets even though we didn’t understand it and couldn’t explain it.” Citizens’ Climate Lobby recognizes that individual actions cannot solve the climate problem, but citizens can influence the political process to achieve a simple across-the-board rising carbon fee, which is the fundamental requirement for obtaining a phasedown of fossil fuel emissions and which has the potential to provide an international approach. CCL has been growing rapidly. Saunders notes that their membership growth has been fueled by Dr. Hansen’s public presentations in which he recommends CCL active membership as the most effective action that a person can take to help address the climate problem.
The Citizens’ Climate Lobby approach includes visiting congress people and engaging them in discussions about the need for a carbon fee, and writing op-eds and letters-to-the-editor. They visit both political parties and assiduously maintain respect for the people they speak with, regardless of the response they receive.