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When corporate power can trump a crisis that has already taken lives, affected millions of Americans and cost billions of dollars in economic losses and infrastructure and property damage, it is time for citizens to act collectively.

When industry interests have more influence than a sweeping breadth of experts and leaders from around the globe – the climate science community, our leading public health experts, our military leaders, heads of state from all over the world and renowned religious leaders – who have called on the United States to take domestic action and provide international leadership on climate change, it is time for citizens to act collectively.

When we as a country stop rising to the challenges of our time because our elected officials fear backlash from corporate donors, it is time for citizens to act collectively.

On February 17, the largest climate rally in history will be held in Washington, D.C.

People from all over the country will flood D.C. to march to the gates of the White House and demand decisive leadership on one of the greatest social, economic and environmental challenges of our time.

Public Citizen is supporting the Forward on Climate rally not only because we recognize the scale of the climate crisis and the urgency of the need for action, but also because we challenge corporate threats to our democracy.

The fossil fuel industry pours tens of millions of dollars to gain direct access to our decision-makers. It invests millions more on campaigns and legal challenges to ward off legislation that threatens its government hand-outs and seeks to regulate its toxic products.  Its top polluters have waged war on climate science by funding misinformation campaigns.

We cannot outspend the fossil fuel industry.  To make our leaders act in the interest of the voters they serve, we must employ our basic rights and responsibilities as citizens.

In his second inaugural speech, President Barack Obama reminded us that this country was not founded to replace the tyranny of a king with the privileges of a few.  He reminded us that “preserving our individual freedoms ultimately requires collective action.”

Mr. President, we are answering your call.  We will act collectively to preserve our right and the right of future generations to a livable plant.  

In return, we ask that you summon the political will to make comprehensive climate action part of your presidential legacy.

Originally posted to Allison Fisher on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 10:57 AM PST.

Also republished by Climate Change SOS.

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