Highlight Your Local Climate Impacts

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Social science research continues to highlight the importance of communicating local risks by highlighting the regional impacts of climate change for our own communities to make climate change more relatable. Our members of Congress, local media, municipal councils, friends and family are more open to hearing our message if we first find common ground on climate impacts that are local, timely and relevant.

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/topics/climate-change-science
TOC and Guide Section
 
Understanding climate impacts

Whether it be soaring temperatures, the growing number of wildfires, more frequent, stronger storms, pests affecting agriculture, sea level rise, increased flooding, diminishing snowpack, water scarcity or higher levels of asthma, communities across the world are dealing with the consequences of a warming planet.

Educating the public and calling attention to local changes make climate change real for local citizens and answers the all-important question: “Why should we care?” We have many resources available to help you highlight local Impacts.

Resources for local impacts research

In addition to the other trainings on CCL’s Climate Science Topic Page and wealth of resources in the Local Impacts Resource Directory, check out the following webpages to help you research the impact climate change is having in your area:

Local newspapers can also highlight local impacts of climate change, as well as the following more general laser talks on Extreme Weather and Climate, Hurricanes and Climate, Wildfires and Climate in your own communications and outreach. And don’t forget to share your research with other CCL volunteers, including nearby chapters and the local impacts forum on Community.

Topic areas to research

How is climate change affecting local residents? In what ways do we see those changes and impacts affecting our quality of life, economic viability and future? These are some of the questions you should ask yourself as you conduct your research.

Specifically, look at the following:

  • Current impacts: Document how changes in the local environment have impacted your community (for example,  budget and economic impacts, as well as health consequences).
  • What’s at risk: Research future risks to your community associated with a changing climate.
  • Personal impacts: Gather personal stories from constituents about how climate change is impacting them personally.
Using your local impacts research

You can leverage your research and call attention to your locally changing climate in a variety of ways. But note: Research shows that dire facts and messages are more believable when coupled with a solution. Remember to talk about solutions when you share the bad news, otherwise you may create a sense of hopelessness in your audience.

  • Letters to the editor and op-eds: Respond to newspaper articles relating to the weather.
  • Meetings with members of Congress: Bring up the changing weather, local impacts, as well as current and future costs.
  • Municipal resolutions: Emphasize climate change’s financial consequences to the community and the urgency of passing legislation.
  • Endorsements: Talk with community leaders about local impacts and future consequences.
  • Presentations: Create slides that show local changes and impacts.
  • Editorial board meetings: Bring a list of recent newspaper articles relating to the changing climate.
  • Social media: Use Facebook and Twitter to post or share stories about the local impacts of climate change. Use Instagram to post photos of local extreme weather events.
Length
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https://vimeo.com/album/5894757
Video Outline
To skip ahead to a specific section go to the time indicated in parenthesis.

4th National Climate Assessment Report Background 
(2:39)

The Southeast: Sea Level Rise & Hurricanes
(7:26)

The Midwest & Great Plains: Flooding & Heat Waves
(14:51)

The Southwest: Wildfires & Drought
(19:24)

Northwest & Alaska: Arctic Ice Loss & Shrinking Snowpack
(31:49)

The Northeast: Biodiversity
(35:56)

Communicating Local Impacts Tools
(39:04)

Instructor(s)

Dana Nuccitelli

Audio length
Press play to start the audio (44m 18s)
Audio embed code
Audio Outline
To skip ahead to a specific section go to the time indicated in parenthesis.

4th National Climate Assessment Report Background 
(2:39)

The Southeast: Sea Level Rise & Hurricanes
(7:26)

The Midwest & Great Plains: Flooding & Heat Waves
(14:51)

The Southwest: Wildfires & Drought
(19:24)

Northwest & Alaska: Arctic Ice Loss & Shrinking Snowpack
(31:49)

The Northeast: Biodiversity
(35:56)

Communicating Local Impacts Tools
(39:04)

Instructor(s)
Dana Nuccitelli
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Discussion Topic
To Print
Instructions for printing this page on Community.
Category
Training
Topics
Climate Science
Format
Audio / Video, Presentation
File Type
PowerPoint (.pptx)