CEL Spring Conference: Mark Letcher, reaching people on climate change

The CEL Conference at Bristol 10 March 2010 Treasure in the Field – Spiritual Capital and Sustainable Living. Notes made by  Ruth Jarman from Mark’s workshop

  • What we say must be in their frame of reference
  • The person speaking is as important as what they say – so quote people that they trust or be trustworthy yourself!
  • We can’t shock, frighten, shame, bully into action
  • We have an aversion to loss – instead of “you can’t fly any more” say “the train journey we took was beautiful and fun”
  • People focus on here and now rather than the big picture – during a cold spell they are less likely to believe in global warming
  • We like to be part of a group – “99% of visitors leave the forest exactly as they find it” works loads better than “don’t harm the forest”. “Thanks for ….” Implies you are part of a group already doing it.

What must the environmental organisations do?

  • We need a vision that is tangible and compelling
  • Need new audiences
  • We need to compromise and not fight amongst ourselves
  • We need to coordinate
  • We need to reframe our messages to allow access from people concerned about human rights, social justice, jobs, economy etc
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