How to Get the Ear of Key Leaders When Talking About Climate Health

By path2positive

The upcoming National Climate Assessment, the guiding document for federal, state and local climate policy in this country, must be crafted carefully with key listeners in mind. Who are these "key listeners," you ask? They are policymakers whose decisions are based on information presented to them. This is why it's so important that the health sector speaks in a language to which these policymakers can relate.

“If we want to tell the nation the risk, we need to [do it] in plain English,” said Alice Hill, the National Security Council’s senior director, as quoted in the Scientific American article below.

Late last year, ecoAmerica, Climate for Health's parent organization, released its latest research report, Let’s Talk Climate: Messages to Motivate Americans. Along with Lake Research Partners, ASO Communications, and the Natural Resources Defense Council, ecoAmerica developed market-tested messages designed to engage Americans on climate solutions. The report reveals five clear communication themes that highlight the connections between health and climate change. These are critical connections to make when trying to convince leaders that there's a need to address climate change. We hope you'll take a read.

How to Talk Global Warming in Plain English

ClimateWire via Scientific American

By Erika Bolstad I March 28, 2016

In New Orleans, the city’s planners would love to see block-by-block estimates of how sea-level rise might affect neighborhoods and critical infrastructure. In Seattle, they want to know how to shape their municipal culture so that even basic budgeting decisions factor in evolving climate patterns, and not just the past weather patterns that planners have relied on for decades.

Everyone is looking for something different from the next National Climate Assessment, including the scientists and decisionmakers who put together the current guiding document for climate policy in this country. And as they discuss how to put together the next blueprint, they worry about how to best get their message to the people who need most to hear and heed it.

Is anyone reading the assessment? Will anyone read the next one? And how can they make sure that people do?

“If we want to tell the nation the risk, we need to [do it] in plain English,” Alice Hill, the National Security Council’s senior director for resilience policy, told scientists at a gathering in Washington, D.C., last week. As her boss, Susan Rice, often notes, Hill said, “climate change is a dire threat to the prosperity and safety of the American people.”

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