I spend a lot of time around climate activists helping them with climate communications. Like most of us, their perceptions of where others are in their climate journey are based on where they are themselves. This is a common human characteristic. But if we want to move people to act on climate, do we need to take them through every stage of a climate journey? Do we have the time? Instead, what if we could just skip to the last stage of action?

Let’s take a typical personal journey. Most people who become active in the climate crisis start with…

Texas Power Outages, Texas Grid Disaster, ERCOT
Texas Power Outages, Texas Grid Disaster, ERCOT

Once again, Charlie Brown climate media and communicators are trying to kick Lucy’s proverbial football as she yanks it away. Right-wing fossil fuel sponsored Lucy is the Wall Street Journal and Fox News. Their football frame is blaming Texas power outages on frozen wind turbines and renewables.

What is the media response to this frame? Of course it is to deny the frame. Here are a few headlines.

  1. Washington Post: “Frozen wind turbines aren’t why Texas can’t keep the light on”
  2. Southeast Energy News: “Arctic blast knocks generation offline — and not just wind farms.”
  3. Time: “ Don’t Blame Wind…

Great summary. One small addition is in the area of goal setting. I believe we need to be able to measure progress along the way, both on the collective large chess board and on smaller squares. Without it, human behavior and biases kick in and we lose people to the overwhelming task of the whole board and game.

I’ve created this this little acknowledgement and taken to reading it before starting the climate meetings I lead.

“As we begin our meeting, let us acknowledge the scope of the climate challenges we face. …

You remember the ones. The scene of the soldier hitchhiking though a blizzard to make it home for Christmas. His mother waiting, holding his worn photo in her hand and brushing it gently. The joy on her face as he enters her kitchen. Then the hug. Wait for it. He takes a puppy from his backpack and gives it to his little brother. The commercial you need a box of Kleenex to watch, and if you’re a guy, the one you fake sneeze at so you can wipe your eyes.

What is it about these commercials that appeals to everyone…

As a climate champion, do you know how to use a values sandwich to get action on your climate projects?

What’s a values sandwich, and how can it help our climate causes? This communication tip works just as well for Uncle Ralph at Thanksgiving as stopping the pipeline in your back yard. But let’s talk about the why we need this simple technique.

If getting people to act on the climate were easy, we’d have already done it. Maybe. Unless we’re not doing it the most effective way.

We all want climate success, but let me ask you a question…

I have a friend who wanted to get involved in the climate movement and wondered what organizations would be appropriate for his interests? I asked him some questions, one of which was… how would he describe himself?

He answered, “Well, you know me. I’m no tree hugger.”

Ouch. It’s still surprising to me how often well-intentioned environmentalists and climate activists absorb and repeat the frames of the fossil fuel industry. We could ask why tree hugger is now an insult, but it is mild in comparison to environmental fanatic or ecoterrorist.

I suppose the Bass-Oreno saved my life. Other than it’s preposterous name, all I knew about it was that it was made by the South Bend Bait Company, and it caught bass. For a ten-year old, that was magic enough.

I found it a couple years ago in the attic with some other stuff I had saved from my childhood. Important rocks, sticks and feathers that have slipped into the past. But the Bass-Oreno lay protected in an old slide case, its faded green spotted body scarred by the mouths of so many fish. It looked less than fearsome now…

(Article originally published on Monday, November 2nd)

Here’s a contrarian viewpoint. Regardless of who wins this election, climate activists still have a lot of work to do.

I don’t mean the nut’s and bolts work of trying to rebuild the Clean Power Plan, re-enter the Paris Accord, our launch the Green New Deal. We have to do those things anyway.

I mean the work we have to do because a large percentage of Americans voted for candidates that rolled back over 108 climate and environmental regulations, who deny science, and who use fossil fuel support to stay in power.


The other day I was talking to my daughter on the phone when I noticed a subtle change in her reaction to the pandemic. I believe this also applies to the climate crisis.

She said she’d just gotten back from a run to Target with her youngest daughter and they had stopped at a Dairy Queen. Now, she was about to take her second child to soccer practice and her oldest son was at the park with two friends. Tomorrow they were headed for music lessons at another house.

It seemed to me like she felt the pandemic was over…

Warning: Nerd Alert. Nerd Alert. (But I’ll make this easy.)

Ever wonder why some of your climate communications work better than others? Some emails get more opens. Some campaigns get more calls to your elected officials. Some fundraising gets more responses? Once you master this secret magic formula, it will change your life forever. Here it is.

C=4m + 3v +2(i-f) -2a

WHAT? OMG. STOP, this is too hard!

But don’t stop now. Because that’s the pointresistance is futile!

While the default moto of the political and climate movements over the last four years has been RESIST, in marketing and communications, resistance is your enemy. These are the last terms of the equation. Stick…

Hobart Stocking

Environmentalist. Writer. Earthwalker. SkyWaterEarth.com. Changing perceptions and climate communications. Promoting solutions. Savor the Earth!

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