Public Engagement

Interview with Theologian Sallie McFague: 
Climate Change is a Spiritual Issue

In a follow-up to the 2011 Stonehouse Standing Circle meeting, we’ll be posting a series of interviews with delegates on their work and thoughts on the central question of the gathering: how to get climate change back on Canada’s public policy and political agenda.

Haidt on Culture War Rhetoric: Follow the Sacredness

This New York Times op-ed from moral psychologist Jonathan Haidt brilliantly unpacks the political narratives embedded in recent rhetoric from both Democrats and Republicans. Haidt warns that demonizing opponents stirs up tribal reactions that can stand in the way of real solutions.

What to Watch: Banter It, An Online Forum for Constructive Pubic Conversations

Political polarization poses a massive obstacle to collective action towards a sustainable and just society. Knowing this raises some heady questions: How do we scale up forums for constructive public conversations about contentious issues? How do we create a culture of civil discourse? And then how do we translate this into sustained action?

Lenihan on the Need for Governments to Harness the Power of the Public

In a recent interview with The Hill Times, vice-president of engagement at Canada’s Public Policy Forum in Ottawa and author of Rescuing Policy: The Case For Public Engagement, Don Lenihan discusses the growing complexity of public policy issues and need for governments to respond with greater citizen engagement. 

Has Environmentalism Died? Posted by Jim Hoggan

The Breakthrough Institute's, Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, recently revised their 2004 essay "Death of Environmentalism" with the more uplifting "The Long Death of Environmentalism". I do not necessarily agree with their essay, but the authors raise some uncomfortable issues that need to be discussed.

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.

"Here comes the Sun" - Paul Krugman (reposted from NYT)

"Let’s face it: a large part of our political class, including essentially the entire G.O.P., is deeply invested in an energy sector dominated by fossil fuels, and actively hostile to alternatives. This political class will do everything it can to ensure subsidies for the extraction and use of fossil fuels, directly with taxpayers’ money and indirectly by letting the industry off the hook for environmental costs, while ridiculing technologies like solar." Launches!

 Those in government and nonprofits trying to communicate to the public about climate change say that they often lack the time and resources to digest the latest research and incorporate it into their campaigns. is a bridge between researchers and practioners. It is timely, and already over 100 people have signed up!

The Yale Project on Climate Change announces new paper: Knowledge of Climate Change Across Global Warming`s Six Americas

 Anthony Leiserowitz with the Yale Project on Climate Change Communications announces a new report that draws from a national study they conducted last year on what Americans understand about how the climate system works, and the causes, impacts, and potential solutions to global warming and is available here.

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