Suppose you have only a minute of someone’s time? You can’t convince them of anything in that short a time. But you can get them thinking with just a few sentences. This is often called an ‘elevator speech’.
The conference covered three main aspects of Climate Change: its causes, its effects, and what we can do about it. You can use the sentences below as a guide to construct your own ‘elevator speech’.
For example, you run into a friend in the supermarket and you mention the conference to them, and the friend asks what ‘climate change’ is. You could say something like, “Oh, when we burn stuff it adds to a blanket over the Earth that warms the climate over time. It’s gonna make the ocean rise and lead to stronger storms. That’s why I always buy energy efficient products.” Hopefully it will get them thinking.
- CAUSES – The Message: “Humans are causing the climate to change”
- The scientific evidence is clear: climate change is real and is caused by human actions.
- Carbon dioxide acts as a blanket around the Earth, and we add more to the blanket each year.
- Burning coal, oil and gas adds heat-trapping CO2 to the air, causing global temperatures to rise over time.
- Weather varies from year to year and place to place for many reasons, but the climate is about the long term: there is an underlying upward trend in temperature due to human carbon pollution.
- EFFECTS – The Message: “Climate Change is a serious problem”
- It’s not just about rising temperatures—there will be a cascade of effects.
- Climate change is already causing the arctic and glaciers to melt, and eventually seas will rise many feet if we do not act.
- Temperatures and seas will rise; weather events will become more extreme.
- There will be more droughts and floods, coastlines will shrink, millions of species will become extinct, and there will probably be conflicts over scarce resources.
- Oil is a dwindling resource we import from volatile regions in the world.
- SOLUTIONS – The Message: “We can solve the problem if we act now”
- We need to move from coal and oil to biofuels, wind and solar, and we must act now.
- Nuclear power does not produce carbon pollution, but we still need a long-term solution for the radioactive waste it does produce.
- We need legislation to put a price on carbon pollution so the market will spur innovation.
- Green innovation will be crucial to this century’s economy, and we can either lead or fall behind.
- We can create green jobs by improving energy efficiency and switching to cleaner energy.
- We can conserve, insulate, switch to energy efficient products, and install solar panels.
- The future of the climate depends upon green energy, and the future of the economy depends upon green jobs.