Updated: Apr 17, 2022
This will be my final Blog post as Chapter Chair. I started the year promising to post a new set of “Reflections from the Chair” every month; and I stayed with that for 9 months, despite never having been a blogger previously. Then I dropped the ball in October. Now we are a week into November, and it’s time for me to close out this series.
As I finish my tenure as Chair after more than 4 years, my main feeling is one of gratitude. Many of you have heard me say that the founding members of the chapter had no idea about the kinds of things this chapter could do as it grew and developed. That we have continued to thrive is due to the efforts of so many chapter members who brought not just time and energy but also bold and creative ideas for actions that have gone far beyond what I would ever have been able to imagine. I am deeply appreciative to every member of the chapter who has contributed to our success along the way.
We will end the year having successfully met one of the biggest challenges chapters face - transitioning smoothly from an old Chapter Chair to a new one. Many chapters have floundered over this issue, and it is a credit to our group that we have passed the test! We have a fully staffed Executive Committee, and a great deal of planning is already well underway for 2022. At the same time, we have a number of leadership positions that will need to be filled in the working groups if those groups are to continue. Some may well need to be completely reorganized or consolidated with other groups. New groups may need to emerge. There will be no shortage of opportunities for those who are willing to be Climate Leaders!
In 2022, Climate Reality at the national level will continue to emphasize legislative activism. I invite all of you to put your political cap on and join in these efforts in whatever ways you can. If you have never seen yourself as “political,” this is the year to begin! In my view, climate activism always needed to focus on big changes in policy at every level of government; and that will be true in 2022 more than ever. Details on chapter legislative activism will be coming out very soon, so please be on the lookout for it.
Along with my own work with the Legislative Action group, I will be taking over the Education/Training committee. This feels to me in a way like a return to my former life as college prof. I am planning to offer a series of mini-workshops on how to give more effective presentations, which does have a lot of similarity with designing a set of lesson plans. One of the things that we know is that fewer than 2% of all the people who complete one of Climate Reality’s training programs actually give even one presentation. In our chapter in 2020, we did much better than that with chapter members giving over 165 public presentations. I want us to return to that level of public outreach. Our mission calls on us to build a movement for change, and we do that by developing effective methods for engaging the public and getting them onboard. I hope that many of you will participate, especially those of you who are newly trained and those of you who have put off giving presentations for one reason or another.
I write this at an interesting time in terms of climate activism. COP 26 is still underway. Some good things have come out so far, but much more will be needed. The first of the two infrastructure bills is headed for Biden’s desk for signature; but the bigger Build Back Better bill won’t be voted on in the House for another week, and the Senate vote will follow. Whatever the result, the elections of 2022 will again be momentous at both the state and federal levels. We have a role to play, so in the words of the Our Climate Moment campaign, “Let’s Get to Work.”
Roger Knudson, Ph. D. Professor Emeritus, Department of Psychology, Miami University Chapter Chair, Climate Reality Project Dallas Fort Worth Chapter (859)866-3962 Pronouns: He/Him/His
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