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Katharine Hayhoe

If I just explain the facts, they’ll get it, right? Maybe not…

Katharine Hayhoe, one of the world’s most respected climate scientists and climate communicators, has created a video explaining why just providing facts on the impact, and importance, of climate change may not work with some audiences.

Check out her short video. This might be something you could play for a local committee, your land trust’s working groups or board, or at a land trust staff meeting.

The concept is true for all communications. (So it’s worth watching for a variety of reasons.)

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A Floodplain Forest By The Connecticut River In Northampton
Laurie Sanders Photo

Kestrel Land Trust featured: Land conservation is part of the climate change solution​​​​​

Conservation efforts will make a difference—if they go above and beyond "business as usual." However, make sure your messaging continues to clarify that we need to increase energy efficiency incentives and find support for the other 70% of the solution (renewable energy).

“When you think about strategies to prevent more severe impacts [of climate change], protecting land from development may not be the first action that comes to mind. The science is clear that we must reduce our fossil fuel use and curtail other sources of greenhouse gas emissions.

Conserving and restoring the world’s forests, grasslands and wetlands, however, is also a critical tool for countering the effects of climate change. Every year, globally millions of acres of forests are cleared for development, grazing or crops. When this happens, most of the organic carbon stored in the original forest is released into the atmosphere…”

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King Arthur Flour Logo

King Arthur Flour calls for action

Given that land trusts make a pledge to conserve farmland, forests, and natural areas in perpetuity, it's not a stretch to see how advocating for energy efficiency is part of their mission. Check out how King Arthur is starting to lead. It's part of your land trust's mission to speak up

“King Arthur Flour works with mills and farmers across the nation to supply home bakers everywhere with some of the finest flours and baking supplies available. It takes a lot of time and energy to transport our products to stores and kitchens across the country, and we are acutely aware of the impact all that transportation has on the environment.

In 2016, the transportation sector surpassed the electric power sector to become the largest emitter of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. In fact, the transportation sector is responsible for nearly a third of all U.S. Greenhouse gas emissions—contributing to climate change and air pollution, and exacerbating public health concerns…

Therefore we were pleased to see Gov. Phil Scott announce that Vermont will join eight other states and the District of Columbia this year to collaborate on developing a regional, market-based policy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and modernize our transportation system…”

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The Eye Of An Asian Elephant

Nature’s dangerous decline ‘unprecedented’; species extinction rates ‘accelerating’

“Nature is declining globally at rates unprecedented in human history — and the rate of species extinctions is accelerating, with grave impacts on people around the world now likely, warns a landmark new report from the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), the summary of which was approved at the 7th session of the IPBES Plenary, meeting last week (29 April – 4 May) in Paris…”

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Judy Anderson

The Nature Conservancy encourages action

You and your local land trust can begin to talk about climate change impacts. TNC shows how to do this. And, the New York testimony is inspiring, no matter where you live.

“Thank you for the opportunity to testify before you today on this issue. The Nature Conservancy is enthusiastic about climate mitigation legislation passing in New York State during the 2019 Legislative Session. First and foremost, thank you Assemblyman Englebright for championing this issue and continuing to call for strong action from New York in leading the nation…

Earlier this month, the Intergovernmental Panel for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) released its first report detailing past biodiversity losses and prospects for people and natureii. Governments and scientists agree we are exploiting nature faster than it can renew itself.

The IPBES report is a shocking wake-up call. The report clearly shows how rapid deterioration of nature threatens our food, water and health, and worsens the impacts of climate change. Achieving economic and development goals, as well as climate goals, will require tackling this accelerating loss of biodiversity…”

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Judy Anderson

How to Talk About Climate Change so People Will Listen

If we don’t talk about why it matters, why would we care about the problem itself? And if we don’t talk about what we can do to fix it, why would we take action or expect our community, our province, and our country to do so either?

As challenging, as stressful, and as painful as it might be, fixing climate change begins by actually talking about it. And over the years, Dr. Katharine Hayhoe has found a way to do so that’s actually constructive. It begins with talking about why climate change matters to us…

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Greta Thunberg The Disarming Case To Act Now On Climate Change Ted Talk

Greta Thunberg: Saving Your World

Is this something that you could share? How might this connect with people who care? Across the country people are looking for leadership, even in conservative areas.

“Greta Thunberg cut a frail and lonely figure when she started a school strike for the climate outside the Swedish parliament building last August. Her parents tried to dissuade her. Classmates declined to join. Passersby expressed pity and bemusement at the sight of the then unknown 15-year-old sitting on the cobblestones with a hand-painted banner.

Eight months on, the picture could not be more different. The pigtailed teenager is feted across the world as a model of determination, inspiration and positive action. National presidents and corporate executives line up to be criticised by her, face to face. Her skolstrejk för klimatet (school strike for climate) banner has been translated into dozens of languages. And, most striking of all, the loner is now anything but alone…” [excerpt from The Guardian].

Greta leads the world in fighting climate change because she confronts people with reality—while using language that connects to what people care about and provides us with a way to change. Check out a video compilation of her speeches.

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Potato Farming From The Top

Soil champions: farmers lead

American Farmland Trust is spreading the word. Could you share this? Or create your own version with local farmers?

Farmers take risks all year long and with climate change, those risks are growing with extreme and unpredictable weather. Yet we know from research that soils can and do impact how fast climate change will accelerate—or slow down.

American Farmland Trust, in partnership with farmers and partners, is ramping up its communications efforts to support farmers in this transition. Check out this short video where the farmers of Long Island, NY, talk about the changes they have made, and why.

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What land conservationists can do: Open Lands Land Trust is communicating about climate change

Climate science can be cumbersome and disheartening, including when the White House released the much anticipated Fourth National Climate Assessment, a sweeping Federal review of the impact of climate change on the natural environment, agriculture, human health, forests, transportation, and natural resources. The report, which was authored by scientists from 13 federal agencies and climatologists from across the country, documents in explicit terms the changes to our climate that have already occurred in the United States.

The Open Lands Land Trust observes that reports like this no doubt will lead to some anxiety for many of us. But they want to prepare you with information and talking points so you can advocate for climate action right now. 

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Pond Scene
Judy Anderson

Taking steps to “walk the walk”: Peconic Land Trust makes changes

They've also spent some time looking at their internal operations to identify where small changes could make an impact. If your local land trust is looking for ideas on where to start, this might be an interesting list to consider...

Peconic Land Trust’s (PLT) values and goals reflect their organization’s desire to protect their environment and appreciate the natural resources of Long Island, New York. Over the last several years, PLT has taken steps to minimize their carbon footprint by making their offices more efficient and by integrating “green principles” throughout the organization.

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