The Tri-Valley Citizens’ Climate Lobby on Aug. 20 talked about how people can have an impact on national policies and priorities through advocacy.
“There is a sense of powerlessness and resignation about politics, especially federal politics pervasive throughout the public,” said SamDaley-Harris, founder and CEO of the lobby group Civic Courage and author of “Reclaiming Our Democracy.”
Harvard University conducted a poll 3 years ago that showed 96% of Americans believed it was important to reduce the influence of money on politics, but 91% said it was impossible.
“That’s the politics of resignation,” Daley-Harris said.
The lobby wants to overcome feelings of powerlessness surrounding climate change.
Daley-Harris discussed how to gauge a politician’s views on climate change and determine where they are on the spectrum from opposition to support. Advocates should determine their approach based on each politician’s views, he said.
When dealing with people in general, Daley-Harris quoted the group’s Utah coordinator Tom Moyer, who said “It’s impossible to convince anyone of anything if you fundamentally don’t like them. If you walk in thinking they are an idiot and are evil, you’re done from the start. It doesn’t matter how logical your position is. You have to put yourself in a place where you can find something to respect in them.”
Harris told the group climate solutions will never come from Democrats or Republicans alone.
“It’s a decision and a centering of one’s self to go for the goal and transformation rather than going for being right,” he said.
More information on how to discuss climate change is available at citizensclimatelobby.org.