More voices need to be heard in the public sphere to help motivate our elected officials and governmental agencies to take action against global warming. Grandparents and seniors have the time and the ear of our civic leaders to sound the alarm. When more citizens show public support for climate change action and sustainable policies, our elected representatives will start to act.
How can you become an agent of change, or what we like to call a “grandparent advocate”? There are some easy ways to make your voice heard. One is to write a letter to your congressional representative. (Click here to learn who represents you.)
Or, send a letter to the media – many climate change skeptics submit opinion letters to U-T San Diego and they publish an unbalanced view of our region’s opinion on the topic. You can submit a letter to the U-T San Diego editor either in response to an article/editorial or just because. Keep in mind the U-T requests that your letter be 125 words or less, although they sometimes publish slightly longer letters.
Here are general tips when writing letters to elected officials or the media:
- Identify yourself as a credible messenger: provide a brief background and share that you are concerned about the likely risks global warming poses for our children and grandkids. Speak to global warming from your personal perspective.
- Stick to a few key points and repeat them. Get to the point immediately, and make it a strong point! Boil down your message into one or two concise, compelling sentences.
- Use easy-to-understand language and avoid jargon.
- Make clear why the issue matters and why it is a local issue.
- Emphasize what is known and irrefutable, and frame the information in a way that speaks to your audience.
- Tap into shared community values, such as security, safety, responsibility, health, prosperity, etc.
- Emphasize commonsense, practical solutions.
- Focus on the economic benefits: job creation, dollars saved, costs avoided, etc.
(To read more resources and key message points, click here to view meeting notes from our March 6, 2014 STAY COOL meeting.)
Finally, talk with your friends and family about global warming issues that will impact future generations. (Click here to view meeting notes from our March 6, 2014 STAY COOL meeting and look at the bottom of the page for an easy-to-remember mnemonic.) Share your years of experience with a member of the next generation to inform them how the causes and consequences of global warming will affect the future.
Want to do more? STAY COOL needs to establish a critical mass of members to help advance our climate communications goals. Here’s how you can help us grow our membership:
- Invite 2-3 of your friends to join STAY COOL – it’s free! Ask them to sign up online at http://www.staycool4grandkids.org/get-involved
- Like our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/StayCool
- If you know of a group or association that would allow us to introduce STAY COOL at an upcoming meeting, or present a short program on global warming effects in our area, please notify Program Manager Sarah Benson at firstname.lastname@example.org.