7. Find Your Voice
What’s Your Story?
What’s Your Story?
1. Pick three or four questions from the list below and jot down some answers:
- I first learned about climate change when…
- Climate change has personally affected me or someone I’m close to by (describe in what way: sea level rise, flooding, drought, fire, etc.)…
- I’m passionate about taking action on the climate by…
- I learned about Climate change and what it means for my future when…
- An action I’ve taken on climate that I have found to be personally empowering…
- What other actions could I see doing for climate?
2. Pair-up with someone and share your responses to the above questions.
POWER OF YOUR VOICE: USE IT!
Get the Word Out…Often!
Have face-to-face conversations: Think about who you can influence most: parents, family, teachers, other adults in your life, friends, peers, family, community members, congregation members. Tell them your climate story.
Your delivery: Learn by doing: get experience by telling your story. The more you do it, the better you’ll get, but you just need to jump in there and start talking.
Keep passion alive: If your conversations become stale or boring to you, imagine how the other person will feel.
Tell People it’s Urgent to Take Action
Given the urgency of addressing the climate crisis: Let people know that their involvement matters… we can make a difference by working together.
STAY GROUNDED IN BASIC SCIENCE
Climate Science Tells Us: We Must Act!
To decrease global emissions rates, we need a global commitment to shift from fossil fuels to clean energy. We must demand it for governments to take big action.
Scientific Research Shows:
Warming must be limited to 1.5°C to prevent the more severe effects of climate change.
To stay within the 1.5°C limit, CO2 emissions need to fall by about 45% by 2030 and be at net zero by 2050.
Extreme events such as floods and droughts will increase 50% with every half degree of warming.
Effects of climate change already impact our health: heat related deaths, worsened air quality, reduced access to safe food and water, wildfire, drought, and increased risk of vector borne disease.
If we reach certain tipping points, there’s no going back.
We Have the Solutions
We have all the tools, technology, and scientific ability to implement climate solutions right now!
We Can Win… Together!
Convey Balanced Optimism
Most people feel helpless in the face of such a large challenge. Give people HOPE and something meaningful they can do!
Use emotionally powerful imagery to engage people.
Studies show high school students are more likely to engage in pro-environmental behavior if they are hopeful about climate change solutions.
When People Ask, ”What Can I Do?”
MOVE PEOPLE INTO ACTION: It’s time to shake people free from complacency and move them into action!
CLIMATE CHANGE TALKING POINTS
We have the power to influence our peers to take action on climate change. Discuss it in your everyday conversations:
- “I’ve been spending a lot of time learning about the climate crisis.”
- “I’ve been attending rallies for the climate crisis.”
- “I recently followed this amazing climate activist on Instagram—check them out!”
Show you are knowledgeable, truthful, credible (walk your talk), and caring (listen to others).
Tell Your Story
Step #1: Talk to 3 people about the Climate Crisis this week
Try to make at least ONE of the conversations a bit deeper. Take some notes and be ready to share how it went. Ideally, choose three different types of people (friend, parent, teacher).
Step #2: Develop Your Story
I was first exposed to climate change and learned what it meant for my future… when:
I felt empowered when I took action… by: ________________________
Step # 3: Include Basic Facts
To lower emissions, we need to demand a clean energy future! If we reach certain tipping points, there’s no going back, and we will be facing climate chaos. Here’s what that looks like in our region…
Step # 4: Empower People
We can change, we already know what we need to do and have the tools to do it. We need to work together to solve the climate crisis—together, we can do it!
Step # 5: Be Specific
Tell them here’s how they can help:___________________
Step #6: Get a Commitment (advanced move)
Ask them: Can I count on you to…?
San Diego High School, San Diego, CA
Class of 2022
“Stay on message! Resist pushback that seeks to distract from your passion and goals.”
WHAT I’VE LEARNED:
Communicate with your administrators a few weeks prior to the walk-out, (rather than the week of).
Elea is a climate and civil rights activist with an interest in international relations as a career. She hopes to continue working towards climate justice throughout high school and beyond.
Activities: Public speaking, organizing events, outreach to students & community members, and motivating teens to take action.
Highlights: “Process of planning the youth climate walkout was an amazing experience. I learned a lot from speaking to the school board, interacting with participants, and communicating with news agencies. My favorite part was the open mic where we heard stories from students and other advocates about why they chose to walk out.”