eePRO

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Climate change and hope... please participate!

Hi Everyone,

The NNOCCI Network (www.nnocci.org) has found from our evaluation that we are fostering a sense of hope among our participants, their close associates (colleagues, friends, family). Now we’re trying something new, to try to amplify that impact and to point to specific opportunities where people can join with existing efforts to foster change that:
Starts productive, empowering conversations about climate change and how every one of us can play a role to prevent and prepare for it.
Increases energy efficiency
Helps transform our energy systems from being fossil fuel based to being powered by clean energy.

Hope and a sense of belonging are important. They are more powerful drivers of engagement than facts in many cases. So, we think promoting hopefulness while pointing to positive ongoing efforts is strategy worth using to move more people from being quietly and privately concerned to being engaged with groups focusing on issues of climate mitigation, adaptation and justice.

Our new effort – the first of its kind for us – started last Saturday. We invite and encourage you to support it and to share with your networks to encourage it to spread.

We’re using the hashtag #100HopefulDays and using the Twitter handle @_NNOCCI.

Some things you can do include:
Sharing this information with your networks as you think is appropriate
Follow, and encourage others to follow @_NNOCCI on Twitter.
Identify things that give you hope, in light of climate change. For example, consider sharing articles, information about groups or anecdotes from your experience that relate to engaging more people in productive climate conversations, actions helping to shape a carbon-free energy future.
Share your examples on social media using #100HopefulDays and #NNOCCI and @_NNOCCI as tags
Re-post other #100HopefulDays messages when they offer something that helps you to feel hopeful.

We intend to re-tweet many of these hopeful messages. If you have questions or suggestions, please contact me or NNOCCI Project Supervisor, Kait Birghenthal, at nnocci@neaq.org.

On behalf of the NNOCCI team, thanks for your support!

Billy Spitzer
New England Aquarium

Although the hundred day window ended recently, this post is still so relevant! It seems both oxymoronic and more critical than ever to propagate hope in what may currently be among the most hopeless of times for climate change mitigation.

I wonder what the best strategies are to walk the line between what may be considered 'foolish optimism' and 'doom and gloom'. I am inclined to think that the best tactics for bridging hopeful messages with climate-positive action might be reporting on positive climate news about everyday people. For example, reading a hopeful post about climate change that states that researchers have made a breakthrough in solar technology may inspire hope but no behavior or attitude changes in average individuals. However, letting people know how much small scale solar has expanded recently in their state or region could inspire hope for the climate while additionally encouraging regular people to also participate in climate solutions. Hopeful messaging has so much potential, but I worry about it becoming another outlet for apathy (i.e. "experts are doing good things so I don't need to worry about it") if hopeful messages aren't communicated intentionally to encourage climate-positive affect or behavior change.

Sierra, I think you bring up a really good point about balancing alarm about climate change with hope. I think providing accessible action items for people to engage with can provide people with a platform in which they can act on their sense of hope. It's also important to present climate mitigation behaviors as fun activities instead of chores, so that people enjoy engaging in climate action. Another barrier that often prevents people from acting on climate change is that it's presented as a large global issue, which can seem overwhelming. Tailoring climate action campaigns to educating people about local impacts of climate change in their community and what they as a community member can do to address them may inspire people to take more tangible action. Infusing a strong sense of hope and empowerment into these local campaigns would make them especially effective. Connecting positive results of research by climate experts to actions everyone can take at home would help apply this research to everyday life.

Sierra and Becca,

I love that you've continued this conversation, and that you are drawing out this tension between hopeful messaging and still encouraging action. I think framing in the collective ("This is what we're doing, this is how your help will really amplify what we're doing") could also be helpful. Then, it is not only that they are having a positive impact, but that individuals are actually MORE effective through working together.