7 Tips for Building a Successful Climate Movement

061214RejectAndProtect_OrigEarlier this year, an unlikely alliance of cowboys, ranchers, and environmentalists came together to rally against the Keystone XL pipeline. The rally, called “Reject and Protect,” drew thousands of people from across the country in Washington, D.C. to encourage President Obama not to approve the pipeline. In this recent blog post, Climate Access staff members Cara Pike and Amy Huva describe seven insights about building the climate movement that they gleaned from a recent roundtable with the leaders of the rally.
A few of the authors’ most compelling insights: 1) Incorporating arts and culture into climate action can help build common ground. 2) Starting with storytelling, rather than facts and numbers, is often a more effective way of drawing more people into the fold. 3) Making a moral case for action can bring diverse groups and interests as diverse as ranchers and environmentalists together to achieve a common goal.


Bringing Heart and Spirit Into the Climate Movement

We often talk about the need to broaden the movement and encourage more voices beyond the traditional environmental base to speak about the need to act on climate. Climate disruption is an issue that will affect everyone, and the more communities with different backgrounds are engaging on the issue, the stronger and more successful efforts will be to move away from fossil fuels and prepare for climate impacts.
One of the most recent examples of unlikely allies coming together was in April at the ‘Reject and Protect’ rally in Washington, DC led by the Cowboy Indian Alliance, that urged President Obama to reject the Keystone XL pipeline proposal. Creating an alliance of ranchers, Native Americans and environmentalists is no easy feat and doesn’t happen overnight. Climate Access spoke with several members of the alliance at our most recent roundtable webinar to learn about their experiences and how they can be applied to other bridge-building efforts between communities. Here is what we learned:
1. Movement building is like good cooking – it takes time. Clayton Thomas-Muller from the Idle No More movement in Canada said that movement building is about creating relationships, and like good cooking – it takes time to do it well. Groups have to come together with an honest intention to develop strong bonds, rather than just show up to media events. As well as reaching out to new allies, it’s important that common ground is developed within communities as well. As much as the ranchers and Native Americans had to overcome barriers to work together, leaders from the Cowboy Indian Alliance had to focus on connecting with their own constituencies as well.
Read more.
Image credit: Mark Hefflinger, Bold Nebraska via Climate Access

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