Impacts of Extreme Weather:
- What impacts of extreme weather are affecting your local community now, or what impacts are projected for the future?
- If your institution is not located in an area that experiences hurricanes, try to refer to an exhibit that represents a species or habitat that is being impacted by extreme weather (e.g. beach erosion, drought, intense rainfall events) and talk about the impacts that location or habitat is facing from extreme weather.
- Try to focus on one specific impact rather than a broad selection. Keep the discussion of impacts explanatory; don’t stray into highly emotional terms.
- Make sure that you have linked the impacts of extreme weather clearly to the cause (burning of fossil fuels). This will allow you to make a strong case for why your presented solution (reduction of fossil fuel use) will help to alleviate those impacts.
- If you draw on statistics to talk about the scope or scale of impacts, consider using “social math” to make those numbers more accessible. Numbers and data are more compelling if you make a comparison to a familiar domain on a relatable scale. For example, notice how the second sentence in this communication helps put the large number into context: “In 2011, Americans experienced record-breaking weather and climate disasters that cost our country approximately $53 billion. That is more than eight times what our government spent on financing clean energy projects in the same year.”
- Think about examples of fossil fuel reduction solutions that are relevant to your institution or region. Is there a renewable energy initiative in your area? Does your institution use alternative forms of energy for part or all of your operating needs? Is there an opportunity for local residents to participate in a renewable energy initiative through a local company or via civic action?
- Think about ways to scale up what you are asking visitors to do to be a part of the solution. For example, rather than suggesting they ride the bus instead of driving their car to work, ask them to support local initiatives to improve access for all citizens to use public transit.
- Make sure the solution is accessible to visitors. Asking everyone to trade in their vehicle for a hybrid or electric model is probably unrealistic. Asking them to support initiatives to improve public transit options in their community is more achievable.