Filed under: Energy + Climate | Tags: agriculture, CEP, Kansas farmers, wind energy, wind turbines
As part of the CEP project’s ag group, I had the pleasure of interviewing two folks who work daily for two totally different third-party entities communicating directly with farmers. It was fascinating to me that the most persuasive sustainability messages these diverse entities use in their communication with Kansas farmers revealed their common ground. The bottom line is the wind will blow in Kansas. And farmers are motivated by the idea they could financially reap rewards if they were to utilize that once-cursed resource. (And oh, by the way, doing so happens to help protect the environment, thank you.)
It isn’t without irony that in thinking about the literal agricultural ground we all share in common here in the heartland I realized the concept of common ground was perhaps my most important takeaway. It really wasn’t about how to solve climate change. It was about how to find common ground.
We all approach issues and policies behind our own lenses of life experiences, influences and values. Farmers are no different. They depend on our commonly shared ground for their livelihoods, their survival, but they question whether climate change is really a fundamental issue. They want to know what’s in it for them. They need to be engaged on their terms, in their own language, by someone they trust.
We need to start a dialogue in which we can come to a common ground where farmers can engage, not feel blamed, defensive or politicized. We can find sustainability in finding ways to sustain a fresh conversation.
After all, going green is a journey. And each of our constituent groups has its own map.
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