Building Community Climate Conversations: An invitation from Emeritus Faculty
Embedded in this message you will find several invitations, the first of which is associated with immanent on-campus Earth Week events. If you want to jump ahead, please visit www.bellevuecollege.edu/talkingclimatenw/. If you are not an immediate jumper, please read on for some context.
I am writing on behalf of a small group of faculty colleagues to introduce you to an emerging project to advance climate crisis education in the wider community using tools that are robust among BC faculty. We also want to invite you to consider joining in this undertaking at whatever level of involvement your time/energy budget allows. Those of you who are nearing retirement (or have just retired) may have particular interest.
Our group, increasingly (with tongue only slightly in cheek) called Emericorps, comprises half a dozen colleagues who have retired in the last few years after having previously invested time and energy in the project now known as Climate Justice Across the Curriculum (CJAC). The success of the CJAC project, under the leadership of Sonya Doucette, has lately made BC a regional hub for inward-facing climate crisis education, as indicated by the National Science Foundation grant that currently provides partial support. To extend this success into an outward-facing mode, our project is designed to stimulate thoughtful and informed conversations among community members on climate issues — beginning with a focus on developing foresight regarding necessary adaptations to what are now inevitable climate changes in the Pacific Northwest that will affect us directly.
The underlying premise of the project is that, in a democratic context, civic responses to the climate crisis must begin with conversations that are not yet common in the community. Surveys by the Yale Program on Climate Communication (https://climatecommunication.yale.edu/visualizations-data/ycom-us/) show that 84% of King County residents believe that climate change is happening and will harm future generations; 70% that it is already harming the US. Yet only 53% respond that climate change enters their conversations even occasionally. This discrepancy indicates the difficulty that many of our neighbors experience in starting or sustaining the kinds of conversations the are prerequisites for progress. Our project – Building Community Climate Conversations (BCCC) — is designed to help participants to surmount these difficulties, becoming part of the foundation for progress.
If you want to know more about the project, please visit the longer description posted on the BCAHE website and linked here. If you’d like to talk to an Emericorps teammate, please note the roster below and/or come to either the Tuesday or Saturday session; see the Earth Week schedule: https://www.bellevuecollege.edu/sustainability/get-involved/events/earthweek/.
Flyer for Earth Week Saturday Sessions
With best regards,
Doug Brown, for Emericorps
Emeritus Physics Faculty Member
Doug Brown Kent Short
Gin Bridwell Wendy Pickering
Diane Mauldin Helen Taylor