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Dan Poresky: “Wanted: People hot over climate change”

I’ve got an out-of-the-box idea for how to mobilize public opinion to force congress to get serious about climate change.

I’m looking for a few collaborators to develop the idea and then, working together (with the same or new people), take it up the ladder until we interest the people who can implement it. I’m proposing a coordinated national/local approach combining a year-long public action combined with a varied and comprehensive educational/marketing campaign. Please give it a look and let me know what you think. Positive and constructive critical feedback welcome. It is a quick read–only two pages. Printed below. [You can also find it at http://tinyurl.com/ClimateActionNow]

Feel free to email or call me. Thank you. dporesky@yahoo.com ph. 610-434-1396

– Dan Poresky


Climate Action Now

A Plan to get faster action from Congress on Climate Change
with media messaging that bridges the ideological divide

All the marches, letter writing and voter registration drives are good but the results are too little and too slow. It is as if we are plodding North in a Southbound train.   We need faster action. We need to incorporate these and other actions into a comprehensive integrated strategy.  We need to make this non-partisan.

Below is an outline of a two-part plan to transform Washington from being a climate laggard and obstacle to being a global leader on climate action.  The strategy combines educational media campaigns and short-term boycotts of oil companies.   The media campaigns will reach all population sectors, making climate action something the overwhelming majority of Americans will support.  Many Republicans already accept the reality of climate change but are fearful of speaking out.     Some are beginning to. Watch this excellent PBS report 5/4/2017.

The plan envisions national leadership comprised of influential people and organizations from across the political spectrum.

1) Oil Boycott. The organizers, working with national climate action organizations, will call for a year-long staggered boycott of major oil/gasoline suppliers such as Exxon Mobil, Chevron, Sunoco and Shell. Each company will be boycotted for three months. The purpose is not to cripple or condemn any gasoline brand (or to imply that they are the only offenders) but to elevate and intensify public discourse about the reality and consequences of climate change.

The sequential boycotts will ensure a constant stream of media stories that keep the public’s attention providing endless opportunities to educate the public about climate change.  Targeting gasoline retailers for the boycotts provides participants a much needed sense of individual and collective empowerment for effecting change without creating significant inconvenience.

The boycott leaders will encourage energy suppliers to demonstrate commitment to transforming their business models away from fossil fuels. The companies will be asked to publicly accept the science that shows global warming is happening, that it is causing climate change, that burning fossil fuel contributes to global warming, that climate change is causing increasing harm to people here and around the world and that the U.S. should join the rest of the world in combating the causes and effects of climate change.

2) Media Campaigns. The boycotts will be supported and supplemented with varied media strategies designed to intensify the boycott and educate the public.  A few of the themes will be: that climate science is non-partisan; That renewable energy is less expensive than fossil fuels; that reducing carbon emissions is good for the economy and creates more jobs; that low and non-carbon energy sources are plentiful; that a low carbon economy need not be disruptive to people’s daily lives; that we have a moral responsibility to our children; that climate change will is leading to higher food prices and increases risk of disease, and that for America to be great it needs to be a leader in addressing climate change.  Messages and messengers will be chosen to reach diverse constituencies- religious, ideological, economic, education, age.  Global warming and climate change will increasingly become part of popular culture in positive ways.


The result will be an educated public, comfortable with the issues and expecting action from congress.

Media campaign vehicles. In addition to the constant supply of news articles, there will be advertising via print, TV, billboard, social media.  Spokespeople will appear on talk shows, news programs, at public events.  Influential writers, public speakers and bloggers will be cultivated who will become emissaries to business and other affinity groups such as educators and unions.  There will be multi/media educational packages tailored for schools, church groups.  Like a well run presidential campaign there should be local organizing engaging students and social action groups.

Together, the boycotts along with the educational/media campaigns will provide a foundation which local, regional and national climate action efforts can tie into or use as a stepping off point for their own programs.

With a Gallup poll showing that 2 out of 3 Americans say they are worried about climate change a great deal, there are millions of concerned citizens looking for collective actions they can take.
What they need is leadership, a plan they can believe in and an easy way to participate.

From where will the leadership come?  It could come from an individual with sufficient financial means who is already funding climate efforts such as Tom Steyer or Michael Bloomberg.  It could come from highly prominent public figures like astrophysicist Neil de Grasse Tyson, Bill Nye (the science guy), or former Secretary of State James A. Baker III. It could come from a major foundation such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, The Hewlett Foundation or the Kresge Foundation. It could come from diverse climate action organizations such as Citizens’ Climate Lobby, 350.org, The Nature Conservancy and Climate Leadership Council.  Or some combination.

Funding could come from a variety of sources. Climate activist organizations could appeal to their donors for special donations to fund the campaigns.  Industries and businesses that benefit from responsible climate policies will be targeted for funding. Philanthropic funds and wealthy individuals will be solicited.

Initially, we need to form a working group (likely local, Lehigh Valley PA) to flesh out this idea. Next step is to present the idea to people able to connect us with people who can lead us up the ladder eventually to those who can convene a leadership team and fund its execution. I estimate five million dollars could be sufficient for significant initial success.

Do you believe this approach has merit? If yes, please share your thoughts and suggestions with me. If you really like it, please consider becoming part of the initial strategy planning group.

This proposal intro can be found on Google Drive or http://tinyurl.com/ClimateActionNow
Use the online document to easily access links . Problem opening? Contact Dan for Word.doc and PDF.   Dan Poresky  dporesky@yahoo.com ph. 610-434-1396

Daniel Poresky is a retired retailer that started Dan’s Camera City in Allentown in 1977. Dan encourages a unified approach to environmental messaging through his website www.onewiththeearth.org

Updated 5/17/17


Posted in Advocacy & Activism, Climate, Energy, Media & Communication, Political Economy, Sustainability & Business, Sustainable Living, Voices of the Valley,

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