J500 Media and the Environment

Finding Our Common Language – Framing the Energy Debate for CEP by rebeccaly
October 23, 2008, 11:45 pm
Filed under: Society + Media | Tags: , , , ,

Rebecca Lynch


Walk In My Shoes

One of the messages/themes I took away from both Jeni Rogers’ presentation and David Clark’s advice (and I’m paraphrasing)… put yourself in the other person’s shoes, understand them and empathize with them so you can help them. This is key in how we frame our presentations for the CEP and subsequently, will be a factor in the effectiveness of CEP’s efforts thereafter.


That’s What I’m Talkin’ About People!

In order to make progress in a world where compromise and understanding are key to accomplishing our goals, we must speak a common language – this common language is at times, difficult to find, difficult to interpret and difficult to speak. What’s even harder – getting the results you hope for after going to ALL of that trouble and work.


How can I understand you and how can you understand me if our languages are different? If we aren’t speaking the same environmental language at the same level, it will be luck if anything gets accomplished or resolved. So, crafting our words and using the proper prose to open minds becomes absolutely necessary and paramount in presenting our messages to the CEP.



Here’s the bottom line?

Speak to your audience. What is important to them, must be important to you.

Know your audience. Their cares and concerns, should also be yours.

Relate to your audience. Present solutions and/or ideas that you would want if you were them. Sounds like common sense, but so many of us don’t take that into consideration.


Easier said than done, I know. However, if we genuinely strive to meet these goals, then at a minimum your results should produce above average success.


I’m a polar bear and I need…??

Finally, Simran asks… who speaks for nature? We speak for nature and nature speaks for nature. On the surface that is sort of a straight forward question – or is it. This is going to sound crazy but how can anyone speak for nature when we aren’t part of nature.  We aren’t the gray spotted owl, we don’t know how the owl will adjust to its ever-changing habitat. Oh yes, we THINK we know; we pretend we know and we can study until the end of time, but we’ll never know for sure.


I hate to bring religion into this but it’s a good analogy (and don’t assume you know my religious stance because of this example)…


How do we know there is or is not a Messiah and that it was a man named Jesus? No one knows for sure. There is faith and a book that tells us there is a Messiah. BUT, until we arrive at the proverbial pearly gates, no one can say, for sure “I know this or I know that” B.S. None of us will KNOW until we’re dead – period. What we can say is, “I’d like to think this and I’d like to think that.”


My point? We research whales, dolphins, polar bears and bees all day long for the rest of eternity; but nature is unpredictable as is the science behind it. We know what we know and I have a feeling the enormity of what we don’t know would be almost impossible to comprehend. So really, the question becomes – Can we speak for nature?





2 Comments so far
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You bring up some very good arguements in your blog. I really liked how you stressed that you need to speak the same language as your audience. But I have the same question that you raised–can you speak for nature? If not you, than who?

Comment by susang09

You know that is a great question and one I have thought about often. This evening I had the pleasure of listening to a wise man. He said, shine your light for others to see – in other words, do and be the example you want to see in others. Words are cheap. Actions speak volumes. I’ve decided to DO more and talk less.

Comment by rebeccaly

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