Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Its time to put the 'Action' in 'Climate Change Action'

The following is part of my correspondence with Colin Forrest, a member of FOE in Dundee (Scotland). Its about time ordinary citizens started engaging with the politicians on Climate Change. Protest is important but active dialogue and building understanding is also crucial. I`m about to start living up to my responsibility as an environmentally aware citizen.

"I have attached a small report and a couple of research papers. I will send the powerpoint presentation in a separate e-mail in case its too big for your in box.
I live in Dundee, and I did a phase of speaking to politicians in Spring, as an independent- met some locally (in Tayside) and some at the Scottish parliament. Have just done another phase (probably met around 15 politicians during the summer) as a representative of Friends of the Earth Tayside, with some group members coming along. We have two more meetings in the pipeline; one with transport officials at the Scottish Executive in Edinburgh, and one with Forestry Commision people, possibly in Edinburgh or Perth. You can come along to these or any other ones we set up, if you want to get experience.
Or, if you would like to arrange a meeting, I, and possibly Sam from the FoE Tayside group, would be happy to come along and help. You could be a independent, or say that you were representing a group, if you are part of one, either way works.Ballater is a few miles north of the "official" Tayside boundary, but I think the local group would be OK if you wanted to join FoE Tayside.
If you look on the Westminister and Holyrood parliament websites you will find contact details for your local politicians. Phone them up, and you will get their assistant, ask for a meeting to discuss climate change (anything from a half to two hours). I think its best to set up meetings with members of each of the parties, (no political bias).
Tips ? Don't ask them questions, or you will get a load of waffle for most of the meeting. Take the lead and use a presentation or notes to structure your input.
Let them get involved in discussion and questions later in the meeting.
Be informative, objective, honest, present science and possible future scenarios graphically.
Try to quantify and give reliable estimates. "There is a massive potential for biodiesel in Scotland" does not add to a politician's understanding. "Using current set aside land and 10% of the arable crop area currently growing malting barley to grow rape seed for oil, could replace around 20% of Scotland's current domestic consumption of diesel." is more helpful, and may make the listener more able to consider other possibly more unfamiliar and unpalatable figures and analysis.
Know your material, but be honest if you don't know something..say you will get back to them with an answer."

If you want to get involved in campaigning on climate change then leave a message and we can work out some details.

Climate Change Action

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At 6:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do agree with the post. Now is the time to move forward and bury the past. What is needed are concrete actions and it would start to every citizen by showing concern.


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