Weekly Briefing: Here's the Key 🔑 to Better Climate Conversations

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April 17, 2024

“The key principle for any effective communication is to meet people where they are.” That’s advice we heard this past Saturday from Potential Energy’s Ernesto Alcantar, who joined CCL’s April call as a guest speaker. Ernesto reminded us that most members of the public don’t know a whole lot about climate change. So, how do we connect with them and get them involved?

Potential Energy is a marketing firm researching that exact question. Their research focuses on finding the most effective ways to communicate about the threat of climate change, encourage people to demand action, and inspire people with the progress we’re already making. “We’ve served over 3 billion ads throughout the U.S. and have measured what works with different audiences,” Ernesto explained.

On Saturday, Ernesto shared the eight principles of climate communication that Potential Energy has identified — things like using everyday language, avoiding exaggeration and partisanship, and focusing on humans and local impacts.

We’re putting these principles into practice as we hold 25,000 climate conversations across the country in April! 

Catch up on Potential Energy’s presentation from Saturday, or download their guide from our Climate Conversations page, so you can make the most of every climate conversation this Earth Month.

Potential Energy will also present at CCL’s Summer Conference & Lobby Day in D.C. this June 8-11. If you want to dive deeper into their research and discuss it with them firsthand, book your spot today!

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In other news this week:

• Two bills move forward in House: Two bills that CCL supports are advancing. The Seedlings for Sustainable Habitat Restoration Act of 2023 was a secondary ask at last year’s June lobby day. The Harnessing Energy At Thermal Sources (HEATS) Act was a part of the primary ask at our Conservative Lobby Day last month. Both bills passed the House Committee on Natural Resources yesterday.

• CCL letters in Washington Post: CCLers Sabrina Fu and Chris Wiegard successfully placed back-to-back letters to the editor (LTEs) in Monday’s Washington Post, under the heading “A greener future.” CCL hosts a monthly LTE writing party that all are welcome to attend, if you’d like support and camaraderie while writing your own letter. Catch the next one on the evening of May 8.


Take action this week

If you have a little time: Have a few more climate conversations. With Earth Day coming up on Monday, April 22, the next few days are a prime time to talk to people in your life about climate change. Chat about it at the coffee shop, at your next appointment, with your neighbors — and if your chapter is planning to do outreach at any Earth Day-related events, even better! We're aiming for 25,000 climate conversations this month, so keep talking it up. Don't forget to log the number of conversations you’ve had.

If you have more time: Bring a ‘trusted messenger’ letter to your lobby meeting. This year, CCL’s Government Affairs staff recommends that all chapters plan to bring a letter to their summer lobby meeting on Capitol Hill. This letter should be from someone who is a trusted messenger to your member of Congress. Local elected officials, large local employers, CEOs and business owners are often trusted messengers. Head to our April Action Sheet or attend our April 18 training for more guidance on how to generate this letter, which will help take your lobby meeting to the next level.

Featured chapter: CCL Billings

“The Billings chapter may be small, but we are mighty!” says group leader Lori Byron. In a small, rural, and largely conservative area of Montana, the Billings chapter has done a terrific job fighting climate change in collaboration with other local organizations in their community. They’ve collaborated with the League of Women Voters and Yellowstone Valley City Council, just to name a few.

Recently, the chapter has implemented a series of pub talks into their regular meetings. Inspired by Lori’s daughter, who is part of a chapter down in Colorado, the pub talks have been a great way to educate the community and bring new members into the chapter. Bill Barron, the regional coordinator for the Mountain West region, kicked off the talks at a pub in Billings by giving a talk on “Making Climate Advocacy Fun.”

The snowman protest was another notable community event the Billings chapter hosted. While last year wasn’t a good year for snow in Montana, the chapter took a creative approach to the snowman protest and built human-sized cardboard snowmen to be placed in front of the local church. Unlike real snowmen, they were able to have it remain posted for the entire year to remind those in their community of their commitment to fight climate change. Fight on, CCL Billings!

Have you logged your recent activities in the Action Tracker? Tell us what your chapter has been up to lately.

Action Tracker | Today’s featured chapter story was written by CCL intern Sophie Yang.

Upcoming trainings

4/18: Bringing Policy Support from Trusted Messengers to Congress - The CCL Government Affairs team is recommending that all chapters secure at least one letter from a trusted messenger to their member of Congress (MOC) and deliver the letter in a June lobby meeting. This training provides some ideas for how to do that. Join us!

4/25: New Research on a Post-IRA Carbon Price - The Inflation Reduction Act has changed the climate policy and clean technology landscape in the United States. A new report has been published to outline the emissions-reducing potential of several climate policies in a post-IRA world, including carbon pricing. CCL Research Coordinator Dana Nuccitelli will walk attendees through this important new research. Join us!

To see other topics and past trainings, visit the Training Topics page of CCL Community.

Nerd Corner's Chart of the Week


Potential transmission capacity from reconductoring (blue) and new transmission lines (orange)

Join the discussion about the potential for boosting electrical transmission capacity by reconductoring lines.

Posted by Brett Cease on Apr 17, 2024 7:38 PM America/Los_Angeles

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