Fresh Perspective on the Climate Crisis

In the last several years, the two of us been lucky enough to get to know hundreds of fellow citizens who are building the climate movement. If you're not sure whether you can play a role, we can assure you becoming active in this new movement does not require expertise, only a commitment to making a difference. We are unlikely editors of a book on climate change. Neither of us has formal training in the science of the issue. Neither of us has spent the last decade or two dressed in suits...

About The Editors

JONATHAN Isham Jr. is the Luce Professor of International Environmental Economics at Middlebury College, where he teaches classes in environmental economics, environmental policy, introductory microeconomics, social capital in Vermont, and global climate change. Since early 2005, he has spoken widely throughout the nation about building the new climate movement. He serves on advisory boards for Focus the Nation, Climate Counts, and the Vermont Governor's Commission on Climate Change. He was the...

Afterword

We have at most ten years not ten years to decide upon action, but ten years to alter fundamentally the trajectory of global greenhouse emissions. . . . Such an outcome is still feasible in the case of global warming, but just barely. Dr. James Hansen, director, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Science We two, the authors of this afterword, are in our early twenties. We are of the generation that came of age on September 11, 2001. Yet the lesson our leaders told us they learned that day that...

B

Backward thinking, 178-79 Baer, Paul, 53 138-39 Bates, Will, 3 Baucus, Max, 37 Baumgartner, Frank, 28-29 Bentsen, Lloyd, 193 Bible, 128-29 Biodiesel, 45 Blair, Tony, 25 Blame, resistance to, 66-67 Boeve, May, 7 Bosso, Christopher, 202 Boxer, Barbara, 19, 25, 46, 218 Bradbury, Hilary, 15 Breath of Fresh Air reports (PSR), 114-15 Brower, David, 247 Btu tax, 193 Building the New Climate Movement seminar (Middlebury College), 16-17 Bush, George H. W., 207 Bush, George W., and administration antiwar...

Binding Life to Values

IN THE LATE SUMMER OF 2005,when Hurricane Katrina obliterated sections of Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi, I found myself driving back and forth to work (there is scant public transportation in Vermont), shaking my head and listening to the news with tears streaming down my cheeks. For so many of us, this hurricane knocked down the levees of our hearts. Yet the discussion about the hurricane also troubled my head. As a scholar working jointly in the fields of religious studies and...

BottomUp Policy

Many accounts of U.S. public policy are written as if the United States operated as a unitary system, whereby all innovations and initiatives emanate from the federal government. A more nuanced view of U.S. federalism indicates that states have often served a far more expansive and, at times, visionary role. By the middle of the current decade, the clear majority of states could be fairly characterized as being actively involved in climate change, with one or more policies that promised to...

Bringing Our Understanding of Ecosystems to the New Climate Movement

In most troubled ecosystems, environmentalists warn about quick fixes, reminding us that one intervention, even if it's the one they think most urgently necessary, might not solve the problem. One change sets off unpredictable effects, which then cause further dislocations, perhaps revealing even more relationships than had previously been understood. The political ecosystem is as complex as any natural ecosystem. Yet into the early part of the twenty-first century, too many environmentalists...

Building the Groundswell

Can we really build such a response and in such a hurry An important body of scholarly literature on political change in the United States can give us guidance and hope. In their book Agendas and Instability in American Politics, political scientists Frank Baumgartner and Bryan Jones make a distinction between normal periods characterized by incremental change, when negative feedback stalls proposals for large changes, and those special periods when proposals for change generate positive...

Businesses Get on Board

A carbon-constrained world, a major goal of the climate change movement, is not an environmental fantasy, it's an inevitability. A world that is serious about addressing climate change will be a world that is serious about reducing carbon emissions. There is no other solution to this problem. The only question is how quickly it becomes a widely shared priority, and we all have an obligation to make it become a priority sooner rather than later. Many business leaders understand and accept that...

Climate Change and the Business Challenge

THIS BOOK, IGNITION, INCLUDES dozens of stories of individuals and groups who are taking responsibility in this age of global warming. At the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, which I have had the honor to lead since its inception in 1998, we have had a bird's-eye view of the growing realization, by so many Americans, that it's time to step up. In the last few years, from our perch inside the Washington, D.C., Beltway, we have been thrilled to collaborate with leaders of civic groups,...

Climate Justice

Julian Agyeman Harriet Bulkeley Aditya Nochur Where US energy policy is concerned, African Americans are proverbial canaries in the mineshaft. Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, 2004 MEDIA IMAGES OF POOR AFRICANAmericans stranded on rooftops in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 shocked all Americans. Indeed, Kat-rina suggested a disturbing picture of who will be most vulnerable in a world in which climate change continues unabated. Since the early 1980s, the U.S. environmental justice...

Continue to Build the Movement

Movement building work is especially important in stage six because we can expect a proliferation of new local groups that, in addition to their work in their own communities, must be coordinated into coalitions to mount larger campaigns. There will be work in organizing, strengthening, and supporting local grassroots groups offering training in democratic participatory group processes to keep groups vital and keep activists engaged when needed and advising on strategizing and waging nonviolent...

Culture Change and Governance

With an understanding that organizations are social systems often characterized by cultural sclerosis and systems blindness, how can we then become agents of change The first step is identifying the greatest levers for organizational change, the points in a system at which a small modification in one thing will eventually generate big changes elsewhere. Finding the most powerful levers for change, however, is harder than it may sound because such levers are difficult to find, managers can focus...

Dont Be So Certain

The assumption among environmentalists has long been that if the public realized the high degree of certainty scientists have about global warming, they would demand action to curb greenhouse gases. That was the assumption behind the part of An Inconvenient Truth where Gore pointed to a review of journal articles that found that not a single scientist disagreed that anthropogenic global warming is under way. The Gore movie was released on May 24, 2006, and it generated more media coverage of...

Eight Core Communication Tasks for the Climate Change Movement

The roles of communication in social movements can be broken into specific tasks, depending on the movement's progress. Over the eight stages of a successful social movement described in chapter 3, the emphases, content, and audiences of these tasks will change. In this section, eight communication tasks that roughly map to each of those stages of a social movement are detailed normal times, proving the failure of existing institutions, ripening conditions, take-off, perception of failure,...

Entering the Second Generation of State Climate Policies

The sheer volume and variety of state climate initiatives is staggering. Today the pace shows no sign of slowing and may actually be accelerating. The clear majority of American states have enacted at least one piece of climate legislation or issued at least one executive order that set formal requirements for reducing greenhouse gases. More than half of the states have passed multiple laws designed to achieve such reductions, forty-seven have completed greenhouse gas inventories, and...

Eyes on the Prize

I have been writing and speaking about global warming now for almost a decade. Before Focus the Nation, I never really knew what to tell people when they asked, What can one person do to stop global warming How could I reply Change your lightbulbs Recycle Write to your senator No answer I could provide measured up to the scale of crisis. Today I have confidence in my response, at least for now organize a Focus the Nation event at your school, faith or civic organization, or business. As a...

Focus on Health

If you want to learn about the health of a population, look at the air they breathe, the water they drink, and the places where they live. Hippocrates I WAS IN KYOTO, JAPAN, IN December 1997 for what I thought would be the start of a global and, in the United States, a national commitment to addressing the dangers of climate change. At the time, concerned, activist leaders of the American medical and public health community had little doubt about the validity of the science linking climate...

From Reframing to Reacting

Like religion, environmentalism reminds us that we are not at the center of it all, that there is a wider world out there than our particular (sometimes out of control) needs and wants. Environmentalism, in its best sense, in its least ismy dimensions, can help keep religion honest. It can remind us that religion is not about tribalism, denominational schisms, and debates about who is a real Jew or who is a real Christian. In the religious-environmental worlds I have inhabited, these questions...

From What We Think to How We Think

Diamond is the author of two books and dozens of articles on how natural selection produced human beings.6 He knows that the human capacity for reason emerged in very specific evolutionary contexts. He knows that humans have made extraordinary progress over the last 150 years toward understanding human psychology. In Collapse, however, he ignores all that out of the faith that more facts about past collapses will overcome allegedly irrational denial. Collapse, like most environmental advocacy,...

Green Politics Loses Its Footing

I've been telling my students for years that politics is more like wrestling than solo clarinet. Here's what I mean. As much as we tend to praise brilliant political leaders like Bill Clinton or Ronald Reagan with the kind of praise we might otherwise reserve for a wonderful soloist they both led political enterprises that engaged in an activity more closely resembling wrestling than solo clarinet. One wrestler moves, the other responds. Repeat as necessary. In the political ecosystem,...

Gridlock in Congress

Six main factors lead environmental policy making to become gridlocked in Congress increased partisanship, a weakening of liberalism, trends in public opinion, increased interest group mobilization, more pervasive media, and the changing nature of environmental problems. Each factor is discussed in turn. There was remarkable bipartisanship on the environment in the golden era. For example, the vote on final passage of the ESA of 1973 was unanimous in the Senate and had only four dissenters in...

How Focus the Nation Will Work

To move us toward this future, Focus the Nation is asking each participating campus to begin a deliberative process about policy options facing the nation in the coming decade. The goal is to get more than a thousand campuses involved. Educational institutions are a natural foundation for this national conversation faculty and students organize symposia frequently, one-day events are quite simple to organize, and most educational institutions already have substantial faculty expertise...

Igniting Action for a New Movement

Could the next grassroots revolution in America be over climate change Thomas Friedman, New York Times, February 13, 2005 CAN WE REALLY WIN THIS FIGHT against global warming We often hear that question from college students, business leaders, and civic groups as we go around the United States spreading the word about climate change solutions. If you've seen An Inconvenient Truth or had an eye on popular magazines lately remember that Time magazine cover story that told us all Be Worried. Be...

Irrationality Wants to Be Your Friend

Even if humans had stopped emitting greenhouse gases starting in 1988, when NASA scientist James Hansen first announced to Congress that global warming had arrived, all the changes today resulting from global warming the melting of Greenland's ice sheet, the collapse of the North Atlantic Gulf Stream, warmer ocean surfaces and more intense hurricanes would still be under way. That's because there is a roughly two- to three-decade delay between when greenhouse gases reach the atmosphere and when...

Jonathan Isham And Sissel Waage

Island Press is the only nonprofit organization in the United States whose principal purpose is the publication of books on environmental issues and natural resource management. We provide solutions-oriented information to professionals, public officials, business and community leaders, and concerned citizens who are shaping responses to environmental problems. Since 1984, Island Press has been the leading provider of timely and practical books that take a multidisciplinary approach to critical...

K

129-30 Kempton, Willett, 46n Kennedy, John F., 109, 245, 248 Kennedy, Robert, 248 Kennedy, Ted, 208-9 Kerry, John, 241 Keynes, John Maynard, 169 King, David, 21 King, Martin Luther, Jr., 33-34, 251 Klein, Schuyler, 7 Knotweed, 99-101 Kolbert, Elizabeth, 43 Komanoff, Charles, 53 Korten, David, 53 Kosher, 123 Kyoto conference, 105-6 Kyoto Protocol campaign against, 106-7 city pledges to meet, 23 European Union and, 235-36 limitations of, 41-42 predictability and, 216-17 treaty ossification and,...

Learning to Surf the Big Waves

Now, as the climate movement accelerates, we must learn from previous social upheavals. Many of the organizers who will make the world-shaking marches of next year and the year after cut their organizing teeth by bringing their friends to antiwar marches. The technology of the interactive Internet is maturing, and more people than ever know how to use it. The climate movement contains actors more diverse than even the global justice movement, and the lessons of creating cooperative structures...

Lessons from the First Years of Climate Politics

When the climate change issue emerged on the global stage in the 1990s, nobody seemed to recognize that the issue would so thoroughly expose the weaknesses of environmentalism in the United States. Once the leadership of the Republican Congress under Clinton and then George W. Bush ignored dire warnings about climate change and allowed only minimal U.S. responses, a sort of political divide was reached. Environmental issues could now be scorned openly bogus scientists, in cahoots with the...

New Policy Directions for Businesses in a Carbon Constrained World

So what kind of polices does the United States need To achieve results to promote the climate-friendly activity that will move us toward a clean-energy future we need strong state-, regional-, and national-level policies that send a clear signal to business that companies are going to have to act on this issue in the years ahead. To get business more broadly engaged on this issue, government needs to focus on three Ps predictability, price signals, and a portfolio of technologies that is broad...

Organizations and the Power of Systems Thinking

When you strip away corporate logos and physical structures, it becomes obvious that organizations are nothing more than groups of people working together. Because they involve people, organizations are complex social systems. In my work on organizations, I regularly use systems thinking, which can help us diagnose the nature of our organizations and their cultures. This diagnosis, in turn, can help us transform our organizations into clean-energy leaders. A system is a whole consisting of two...

Practical Steps to Create Change in Your Organization

The difficulty lies not in the new ideas, but in escaping the old ones, which ramify for those brought up as most of us have been, into every corner of our minds. IN THE LAST FEW YEARS, I have been lucky enough to work with leaders of many different types of organizations large, small, private, nonprofit, public as they try to make the transition to a clean-energy economy, and here, in a nutshell, is what I've learned. Organizations that prosper over the long haul are those that first pay...

Public Education Programs

Activists need to continue and further expand massive public education programs by using speakers' bureaus, the media, study guides for groups, Internet sites, and all other communication tools. Particularly important is the development of targeted public education campaigns for specific audiences, framing the issue in appropriate ways for each audience. Examples include discussion guides for religious and ethically based groups on the ethical implications of global warming, conferences for...

References

Sustainable Communities and the Challenge of Environmental Justice. New York New York University Press, 2005. Agyeman, J., B. Doppelt, K. Lynn, and H. Hatic. The Climate-Justice Link Communicating Risk with Low Income and Minority Audiences. Pp. 119-138 in Creating a Climate for Change Communicating Climate Change and Facilitating Social Change, edited by S. Moser and L. Dilling. Cambridge, UK Cambridge University Press, 2007. Agyeman, J., and B. Evans. 'Just Sustainability' The...

Religious Environmentalism

In 2002, E-Magazine devoted its cover to religion and the environment. In 2006, Time, Newsweek, and Bill Moyers all focused on evangelical Christians involved in creation care at both regional and national levels. These stories represent a kind of coming-out party for religious environmentalism, although the historical roots of this appearance go back decades. In academic and political circles, the term religious environmentalism may seem like an oxymoron. Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus...

Respond to Retrigger Events and Continue to Wage Campaigns

To keep the issue on society's agenda, the movement needs to be prepared to respond to retrigger events such as new evidence of global warming or powerholders' refusals to act on important issues. Responses can include press conferences, nonviolent actions such as vigils and informational picketing, e-mail blitz campaigns, and other activities that highlight powerholders' violations of widely held values and link their refusal to act with the new problem. The movement will need to respond in...

Revelations The Emergence of Religion on the Ground

Let us tour through two examples of what I call religion on the ground, a concept that has several different dimensions. First, it is on the ground as opposed to in the air. In other words, I am not talking about lofty intellectual arguments, theological hair-splitting, or long philosophical discourses on the nature and existence of the divine. Actually, as a scholar, I love all that in the air kind of thinking and am deeply indebted to it. Where would we, or our traditions, be without Plato,...

Seeing the Rational in the Irrational

Beyond understanding how human irrationalities are rooted in our evolutionary history, we must, through a kind of psychological judo, turn the irrational to our advantage. Consider that people tend to underestimate the likelihood of an unpleasant event if they believe that they have no control over its occurrence. The more powerless people feel about their ability to deal with a particular problem, the more likely they are to believe that it's not such a big threat. Such is the logic of the...

Strategic Campaigns

The movement needs to identify key demands and create strategic campaigns for each movement issue. These campaigns could include increasing the number of low and no-emission cars, trucks, and buses (and decreasing the number of standard vehicles) switching electricity generation as quickly as possible from fossil fuels to renewable sources and conservation and shifting government subsidies from oil and gas to renewable sources such as wind and solar. Other demands and submovements might focus...

Taking It to the States

THE FAMILIAR TALE OF AMERICANfederal government inertia on climate change began to change by the middle of the current decade. The U.S. Senate went on record in 2005 with majority votes in favor of a national renewable portfolio standard and a State of the Senate resolution that endorsed future action. The U.S. Supreme Court rejected arguments from the George W. Bush administration and agreed to accept a case, Massachusetts v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, that would test whether the...

Telling Your Stories

How can climate warriors, you good readers of Ignition, put this top-ten list into action Like Rachel Carson, you need to tell your stories, craft your tricks. They must be sufficiently seductive and disorienting to enable your audience to live in the newly realigned universe you are suggesting. Tricksters in this age of climate crisis now have to conjure up a second act. Citizens and activists have to generate the next move, and the one after that, and the one after that, and none of these...

The Birth of a New Movement

Since the What Works project, we have seen the climate groundswell come into its own. Activists are framing the potential of runaway climate change as undercutting the healthy, spiritual, and community-based future that we all want for ourselves and our children. In addition, as people begin to realize the effects of global warming, they are mobilizing nationwide in civic and professional groups. The best news of all is that these mobilization efforts are creating political opportunities....

The Birth of Green Politics

In natural ecosystems, environmentalists understand that interventions have consequences, not all of which are intended or are even understood to be related to the original intervention. In a political ecosystem, this deep relatedness is even more crucial. As in a classic ecosystem form, a sequence of events and conditions sets us on a path that we generally still follow. To understand how we arrived at this political moment in time for the new climate movement, with a long-delayed take-off...

The Global Challenge That Requires Local Action

At times, the immensity of global-scale challenges, their seeming remoteness from everyday life, and the inaccessibility of the policy processes that address them make it hard for individuals to believe they can make a difference. New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman has noted that globalization is shrinking the world, linking events here with those far away.4 The great and legitimate fear of many is that the globalization process is homogenizing and hollowing out local economies,...

The Green State

The American green state consists of three major layers laid down over two hundred years economic liberalism, conservation, and environmentalism and preservation. Over time, new impulses have come to dominate green state building, putting in place new laws, institutions, and political premises to guide policy. New impulses have not completely displaced the old, however instead, they have layered new laws and built new institutions atop existing and sometimes contradictory structures. Because...

The History of Opportunity

It is not the first time the United States has stood in such a moment. The nation was itself created out of a rift over freedom and self-determination. It was held together, and strengthened, following the Civil War by its struggle to address the issue of freedom. More recently, we have witnessed the ability of the country to repeatedly adapt and thrive during a century of rapid technological and social progress. We need to learn from this past, but also recognize that we are in era unlike any...

The Importance of Framing

Around the time of the 2004 U.S. presidential election, the importance of framing, popularized by University of California, Berkeley cognitive scientist George Lakoff, was recognized by many political leaders and social change agents. According to Lakoff, frames expressed through and triggered by language, images, and even gestures are mental structures that shape the way we see the world. They shape the goals we seek, the plans we make, the way we act, and what counts as good or bad outcome of...

The International Climate Justice Movement

Just as mass protests against globalization took place on the streets of Seattle and Genoa, the concept of environmental justice has spread and become interlaced with broader sets of visions and demands, and a global movement for climate justice has emerged. This movement can be seen in the work of many groups Think tanks such as India's Centre for Science and the Environment Activist organizations such as Rising Tide, an international network of groups in Europe, Australia, and North America...

The Meaning of Global Warming

Environmentalists have long imagined that global warming has a single, objective meaning (our greenhouse gas emissions are warming the earth) and an obvious solution (we need to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions). The problem is that there is simply no single meaning of global warming. Rather, global warming contains multitudes. Does global warming mean (a) we'll be growing bigger and sweeter tomatoes in northern California, (b) we're all going to die, (c) we humans will survive but will find...

The Nature of Global Warming Denial

Are Americans in denial about global warming From one perspective, the answer is no the vast majority of voters accept the facts about climate change. A June 2006 poll conducted by the Pew Research Center for People and the Press found that 70 percent of voters believe that there is solid evidence that the earth is warming, and most of that 70 percent believe that the earth is warming due to human activities. Forty-one percent say global warming is very serious. Only 20 percent of Americans say...

The Perils of the Blame Game

Nobody likes to be blamed for anything. We are less likely to acknowledge a threat that makes us feel guilty than a threat that does not. Our dislike at acknowledging our responsibility often motivates denial that the threat is real, immediate, or urgent. Even when we do something we know is bad, we still don't want to be blamed for it. In focus groups the four of us conducted in July 2006, we found that resistance to feeling personally responsible is an important factor driving denial about...

The Policy Pathways

With this labyrinth in place and with Congress currently in gridlock mode on the environment, anyone who wants to reform, roll back, or extend the green state has to explore alternative pathways to have a real effect. These pathways have become the central arenas for environmental policy in the 1990s and the early twenty-first century. Some are built into the green state appropriations politics, executive politics, the courts whereas others can be viewed as ways to bypass the green state...

The Promise of Climate Justice

Upon reviewing the international context for climate justice movements and the domestic activities of the EJCC, it is clear that a groundswell of grassroots climate activism led by low-income people and people of color is taking place. The growing climate movement must include these constituencies to realize its full potential to effect policy change. Several challenges, however, lie ahead in the efforts to build a truly unified climate movement. Civil rights advocate Van Jones points out that...

The Second Generation and Beyond

There is no sign whatsoever of a slowing pace in state engagement on climate change. Long-active states are expanding their efforts and elevating their reduction commitments. Long-dormant states are, in some instances, showing signs of engagement. Consequently, one could increasingly envision a U.S. climate policy system emerging on a bottom-up basis, with an expanding and perhaps permanent role for states to play in continued policy development and implementation. Indeed, many of the proposals...

Weve Done it Again From the Garden of Eden to the Tower of Babel

I have long been interested in religion as it is wrestled with, expressed, and practiced not only by elite thinkers and writers, but by everyday people like you and me dealing with the messiness of encountering religion and spirituality in our daily lives and not always knowing what to do with it. While doing doctoral work at Harvard University, I became increasingly interested in the study of lived religion in American history.1 It was there that I also brought my longstanding interest in...

Pathways Forward for the New Climate Movement

There is a limit to a movement that would confine its concerns primarily to the physical environment outside of humans, its main messages to environmentalists. A new and stronger climate movement should use frames and messages that reach, engage, and empower more Americans. How can climate activists put this strategy into action Take the environmental campaign against the Bush administration's mercury rule as an example. On the surface, it seems small, arcane, legislative, incremental one more...

Reframing the Climate Crisis after Kyoto

When it became clear that the push for the Kyoto treaty unwittingly created a mental framework that failed to move or motivate most Americans, PSR, like many other U.S. environmental groups, went back to basics in public education and grassroots organizing. In the subsequent years, putting climate work in terms of health has changed the approach to climate and organizing by PSR and national-level groups such as the Natural Resources Defense Council, Union of Concerned Scientists, and...

Echoes of a Previous Era of Social Change

Focus the Nation was initially sparked by a 2006 interview with Dr. James Hansen, the top U.S. government climate scientist and director of the NASA Goddard Space Center at Columbia University How far can it go The last time the world was three degrees C, or 6 degrees F warmer than today which is what we expect later this century sea levels were 25m higher. So that is what we can look forward to if we don't act soon. . . . How long have we got We have to stabilize emissions of carbon dioxide...

Eight Stages of Successful Social Movements

Moyer's MAP model also describes eight stages in a movement's progress, and each stage has its own strategic requirements and pitfalls. In addition, activist roles shift in importance as the movement progresses from stage to stage.* Seeing the climate movement through the lens of MAP stages can provide strategic suggestions for today's climate activists and may help activists recognize the successes along the way as the movement gains strength. Stage One Normal Times (Mid-1800s to 1979) During...

Iy Lets Cause Trouble Good Trouble Necessary Trouble

NOT LONG AFTER SEPTEMBER 11, 2001, I went to see Congressman John Lewis (D-Ga.), the giant of the civil rights movement. His memoir of those years, Walking with the Wind, will make you want to be an activist just the way spending a day at the Monterey Bay Aquarium will make you want to be a marine biologist. I went to see him with no real agenda in mind, but I was getting plenty of blowback about Greenpeace's nonviolent direct actions, peaceful protests, which we borrowed from other peaceful...

The Sound of Birds Not Singing

AS I BEGAN TO STUDY the making of environmental policy, my graduate work often focused on the odd political discrepancies between the New Left and various countercultures. Since then, I've kept it up. For twenty years, I lived in western Montana and watched the environmental movement blossom, at the same time that a proud two-party tradition very nearly died amid the resentful conservatism of the rural West. Now nestled in Colorado and more than a little pleased by the political change in the...

About The Authors

JULIAN Agyeman is associate professor of urban and environmental policy and planning at Tufts University, Boston-Medford. His research interests are in the nexus between environmental justice and sustainability. He is cofounder and coeditor of the Local Environment The International Journal of Justice and Sustainability. He has written more than 120 publications, including the books Local Environmental Policies and Strategies Longman, 1994 , Just Sustainabilities Development in an Unequal World...

Ten Point Plan of Action

Fortunately, the outlines of a climate strategy we can implement now are highly visible, in part because of the extraordinary efforts already being made by so many Americans to move the United States in the right directions. What follows is a ten-point agenda of action that builds on the many positive, encouraging initiatives are already under way. Many of these strategies are presented in greater detail in the next four parts of this book. Up to this point, the path forward has been blocked in...

Ten Paradoxes for the Journey Communication Strategies to Mobilize the Climate Movement

The success of a social movement depends critically on effective communication. As communicators, we frame the issue of concern, the opposition, and the solutions. We help build a movement, sustain and manage it through challenging times, spread it to unlikely corners, and assist in the deeper societal transformation the movement promotes. The nature of climate change makes these communication tasks particularly challenging. For starters, it's tough to make the prospect of climate change, even...

The Wheel of Change Toward Sustainability

As the climate movement grows, successful organizational change will require clarity on two questions What are we striving to achieve and What is our theory of success Change agents are often not clear about what they want to achieve. Is the goal to simply improve energy efficiency, or is it to redesign processes, products, or services and dramatically reduce and eliminate greenhouse gases An old saying summarizes this dilemma 'Any path will get you there if you don't know where you are going....

Global Warming Preparedness

What kind of a proposal would avoid triggering the psychological barriers described above Looking over the territory we have just covered, we can infer that it makes sense to define the problem in a particular way It does not make people feel guilty. It does not threaten their self-image. It involves abrupt changes perceivable by the senses that is, they are readily distinguishable, discrete events . It is easy to represent by a mental image. It is not perceived as requiring tremendous...

Why Are People So Damn Irrational

We tend to curse irrationality our tendency to, say, spend more time thinking about American Idol than about the coming eco-apocalypse but much that we today consider irrational at one point made very good evolutionary sense. Start by recalling that our ancestors, human and nonhuman, were prey. Other animals, human and nonhuman, chased and sometimes ate them. Of course, every human on the earth today comes from a long line of ancestors who all survived long enough to reproduce. In short, we...

Getting Results

The Sound of Birds Not Singing 185 Christopher McGrory Klyza and David J. Sousa 15. Climate Change and the Business Challenge 213 16. Taking it to the States 223 17. Let's Cause Trouble, Good Trouble, Necessary Trouble 239 ENDNOTES 253 REFERENCES 259 ABOUT THE EDITORS 269 ABOUT THE AUTHORS 271 INDEX 279 WHILE IN GRADUATE SCHOOL, we both studied the process of social change under the guidance of several remarkable mentors. With Grace Goodell at Johns Hopkins University, Jon learned the value...

Framing Global Warming as a Health Issue

Activists and scholars alike are increasingly using the term framing to describe the process of choosing how we present and communicate our ideas. Our minds use preexisting frames, wiring, metaphors, pictures, stereotypes if you will, to speed insights and sort out the irrelevant. As scholar George Lakoff has famously put it, if you ask people not to think about an elephant, they will see chapter 5 . In political and policy discourse, these preexisting notions can be tapped and used,...