2011 Stonehouse Standing Circle Meeting

Communication experts, psychologists, academics, activists, politicians, theologians, bloggers, scientists and corporate consultants in environment/leadership all came together at the 2011 Stonehouse Standing Circle to take a deep dive into the human mind and motivations behind our failure to get climate back on the public agenda.

The formal question was, 'How to get climate back on the public policy/political agenda in Canada?’ a strong follow-on to the question in 2010 "Why is there not a public mandate for climate change?".

Using recent research findings available from Yale, George Mason, polling agencies, behavioural change experts and other organizations on climate behaviour, plus drawing on the amazing experience and insights from the 2011 Delegates, the two days were spent refining the question and examing the human psyche on this issue.

There were many reasons discussed for our collective inability to address the challenges of climate change, and many suggestions for ‘how’ to get climate back on the public agenda in Canada.

The facilitators were able to boil it down to three strategies or approaches. Please look for footage in early February of the fascinating discussions that took place.

We would love your feedback, feel free to post or email: sustain@saltspring.com


“How to climate back on the public policy/political agenda?”

1.            Pick A Battle

-   Ue outreach to both youth and elders around the L’Institut de Nouveau Monde model

-  Connect the battles to the overall challenge

-   Advocate for more accessible voting places and civic education in schools

-   Accompany people who are already fighting the battles

-   Organize to give both positive and negative feedback to the media

-   Fame battles around shared values, existing values

-   Use conversation-based processes to become better listeners. Attend the gatherings that are already happening to find out what people care about.

2.            Change the Conversation

-  Organize to demand better from the media

-  Coordinate the environmental movement to engage the media in a coordinated way.

-  Support members of environmental movements to self-organize as media watchdogs.

-  Have the Salt Spring Forum host a summit with the UBC School of Journalism and PICS that brings leading climate scientists together with editors and executives from mainstream media outlets.

-  Create a conversation-based platform that is hip, attractive, and will draw new people in.

3.            Make it Visceral

-  It is essential to change the frame of mind.

-  Commission a study of historical instances of when there was a societal change of attitudes/ change of consciousness. Identify leading factors and lessons  can be applied to the climate change.

-  Talk to people about their children.

-  Meet people in their own place.  Engage people in their own terms.

-  Enable people to build connections and form relationships.

-  Advocate for systems change.

-  Discuss climate change in local terms.

-  Engage people creativity.

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