Every four years, a new National Climate Assessment (NCA) provides a status report on how climate change is affecting the United States, and the actions that we’re taking to combat greenhouse gas emissions and to help communities respond to climate impacts. Most of the time, the people talking about the NCA, and contributing to these reports, are scientists and policymakers – not your average Joes. In 2012, Resource Media helped to convene four Climate Conversations aimed at bringing new perspectives to the attention of the NCA, and to tell new stories about how Americans think about climate change and extreme weather.
- Working with the Keystone Center, Resource Media invited voices from a wide variety of stakeholder communities to participate in meetings held with NCA representatives in Charleston, NC; Omaha, NE; Milwaukee, WI; and Las Vegas, NV.
- Collected quotes & short videos from business leaders, faith leaders, agricultural experts, outdoor recreation fans, scientists and others to be used on a Climate Conversations Facebook page.
- Pitched reporters and placed opinion pieces featuring select voices.
- Provided media “tip sheets” to all participants providing them with tools and information to write LTEs and reach out to reporters on their own.
The four Climate Conversations recruited nearly 60 new voices to the conversation around climate change in the United States, offering unique insights into climate impacts ahead of the next Assessment. Many of the individual participants had never talked publicly about their thoughts on climate change before; the meetings offered them a chance to make their voices heard, and to network with other concerned citizens in their own communities. When the next NCA comes out in late 2012-early 2013, these voices will be a vital source of local perspective on how climate change is affecting everything from crops to low-income families.