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How To Influence Your Politician on Climate Change


Some of you may have noticed that I haven’t been posting much over the past 2+ weeks.  It isn’t as though there has been a lack of events and news to post about.  Rather, I’ve been keeping myself busy organizing two climate talks and helping a friend put together a blog about climate action.

First, the climate talks.  The first talk was supposed to be in front of five classes at a high school outside of Charlottetown (PEI’s capital).  I say “supposed to be” because it didn’t happen – I got into a car accident on the way there.  Luckily, no one was hurt, however, both vehicles have been badly damaged.  The irony is that I hit the car of one of the teachers whose class I was on my way to speak to!

The second talk will happen later this month and will be for the general public.  I’ve already done two talks to the public in Charlottetown.  However, this one will be the first in French.  Also, I’m getting some really great help advertising for the talk so I hope that turnout will be good.

Now, to the website.  Well, technically, it’s just a blog…  So, the blog is called “Climate Action – What political parties, environmental groups and citizens need to do”.  The idea is to discuss constructive ways to get action on climate change.  Beyond the actual post, we’ve put together four additional pages that can be accessed by the menu at the top of the page.

The page titled “Earth Day Panel” gives information about a panel discussion occurring on April 22nd.  The topic of the panel will be “A critical look at why political parties have not taken climate change action, what needs to change within the environmental movement and how do we create momentum for concrete action.”  Speaking will be politicians and members of the environmental activism community.  The page “Prince Edward Island Earth Week 2013” is listing of events occurring during the week of April 22nd.  Next is “Climate Change 101” is a kind of “climate change for dummies” text that I put together.  And the final tab brings you to several quotes about climate change from Canadian leaders.

I hope you’ll take a look.

And just in case you don’t, I’d like to share with you something that we posted on “Climate Action”, that I believe is useful to anyone who would like to lobby politicians to take action on climate action: the top 7 “dos” and “don’ts” to influence your politician on climate change.

Top 7 Things to do to Influence Your Politician on Climate Change

  1. Set up a meeting at their office to talk about why the issue is important to you, not just the science of climate change
  2. Host a meeting and invite them personally to either attend or participate (either in person, through a letter or personalized email)
  3. Call your politician or leave a message for them to personally call you
  4. Work with them on a petition for them to personally present
  5. If they are supportive, ask how you can help them build more support
  6. Write a personal, hand-written note
  7. Tweet @ them or private message them on facebook

Top 7 Inefficient ways to influence Politicians on Climate Change

  1. Hosting a protest without sufficient numbers and unclear messages/asks
  2. Online petitions that are not able to be presented in the House of Commons or Legislature
  3. Postcard campaigns
  4. Impersonal or standardized emails or letters
  5. Hosting meetings or protests without informing the politician or without sufficient time for them to attend or participate
  6. Long reports (great for evidence but hard for any politician to read all that come in)
  7. Complaining at your kitchen tables but never voicing your concern

Good lobbying!

4 Comments leave one →
  1. 2013/04/09 9:25 pm

    I’m glad to hear you are okay, JP, that sounds like a pretty nasty accident!
    Love your list, and the idea of your new blog. I would just add to your list #8″join other concerned people at Citizens Climate Lobby”!
    Are you interested and/or able to come to the June meeting in Washington? Dr James Hansen will be speaking to our group, as well as Dr. Shi-Ling Hsu, author of “The Case for a Carbon Tax”. It would be a great experience – there are workshops on lobbying as well as on the science. I’m hoping to go. There’s more info here:

    • 2013/04/10 5:13 am

      Thank you for your concern! It was a stupid accident – I’m usually a very careful driver (to the point that my wife calls me an old grandpa!). But I got distracted at just the wrong moment.

      Regarding the June meeting, I’d love to. Unfortunately, finances and work would never allow me. Sigh.

  2. 2013/04/10 7:36 am

    Well done on the new blog. Very sensible recommendations over political action.

    • 2013/04/10 9:32 am

      Thank you very much! Although, much of the credit should go to my “partner” in this endevour!

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