A New Approach to Communicating Climate Change
Recent efforts to rally support for climate solutions often link climate change to issues that matters to people’s everyday lives, like health, faith, or jobs. The most effective efforts, however, go beyond just connecting climate to issues to matter to constituents. Rather, they put climate change into an entirely different set of words and frames that constituents know, understand, and resonate with.
In a recent opinion piece, the Rev. Mitchell C. Hescox, an evangelical preacher in Pennsylvania, illustrates how to reframe climate change in entirely religious terms. Rev. Hescox rallies constituents not to sign a paper petition, but to inscribe their names in a Bible delivered to a key decision maker. The Rev. Hescox rallies support not by citing statistics from the latest IPCC reports, but by citing verses from the Gospel of Matthew. By following the Rev. Hescox’s lead, climate communicators can draw support for climate solutions from constituencies who may have never acted on climate before, but might be ripe for doing so if approached in just the right way.
The Rev. Mitchell C. Hescox, Contributor to EcoWatch
Often when I was a child, I heard the words silence is golden. Silence can be golden when listening to God in prayer or seeking clarity from trusted friends. However, silence is not golden when something needs to be said and it never is. In such circumstances I am not very good with silence. Speaking what I knew to be true prepared me for becoming an evangelical preacher, after spending 14 years in the coal industry. Silence is not golden is when you have a request from more than 60,000 constituents asking you to take action on climate change. Recently, I delivered the names of more than 60,000 Floridians to Governor Scott asking him to lead the state of Florida to address climate change, but at the moment, his only answer is silence.
Image credit: EcoWatch