Chelsea Green Publishing

Cities Step Up and Help Citizens Cut Carbon 25%

This is the last installment in my six-part series excerpted from chapter 11 of my book Social Change 2.0: A Blueprint for Reinventing Our World. It shows how over 300 communities in 36 states have built a bottom-up movement, Cool Community campaigns, focused on helping Americans take direct responsibility to reduce our carbon footprints while at the same time substantially reducing our energy expenses. It describes how tens of thousands of people are stepping up to help bring the planet back from the brink--one household, neighborhood and community at a time. And it offers a whole system solution by showing how by scaling up household and community carbon reduction in the short-term we are building demand for legislation and a low-carbon economy over the long-term. In case you missed previous installments of this series here
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Empowering a Climate Change Movement, Part Four: The Global Warming Cafe

The first step of a Cool Community campaign is to enroll as many community organizations as possible as partners and dissemination points. Once partner organizations are enrolled, the challenge is designing a recruitment tool for them that is easy to use, does not demand great expertise on the topic of global warming, and has the potential to start multiple teams at one time. We had solved a similar problem on a smaller scale in our sustainable lifestyle campaign through our block-based, peer-to-peer recruitment process for forming and replicating EcoTeams. This overcame the need for a charismatic enroller, thus enabling the process to be scalable. The design challenge here would be to apply a peer-to-peer approach with much larger numbers of people.
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Empowering a Climate Change Movement, Part 3: Instead of Cursing the Dark, Light a Candle

When I found a contact number for the Empowerment Institute on the photocopy, I inquired; this was August of 2006. It turned out that an updated version of the Low Carbon Diet was just getting ready to be printed. I ordered the first copies, scheduled two showings of Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth at my church in Burlington, and followed up immediately, while the audience was in full awareness of the urgency about the climate crisis, and formed two EcoTeams at each showing.
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