J500 Media and the Environment

I WAS a Horse With Blinders by jillwilder14
November 7, 2008, 2:34 pm
Filed under: Waste + Recycling | Tags: , , ,

Coming into this class I felt pretty good about myself and my green efforts. I recycle. I even take paper from work home to recycle. I’m going above and beyond. Right? Wrong.

Turns out I didn’t know I didn’t know. I had blinders on with respect to what I can and should do to protect the environment. Although I’m 100 percent confident I don’t know it all, at least I can say I’m committed to learning more. I’ve also recognized that a green angel isn’t going to fly down and tell me what I need to know. It’s my responsibility to figure it out. Ask questions. Make changes.

Fortunately, the CEP project didn’t magnify that I’m the only one wandering around in ignorant bliss. Turns out health care professionals, some of the most educated people in the world, are no green angels either. Many clinicians understand there is an indirect correlation between health and the environment, but they don’t have a solid grasp on what that really means. Clinicians aren’t familiar with the statistics around or long-term impact on public health.

While I learned a lot in this class, there are two takeaways I will definitely leverage in the future. With an overwhelming subject like global climate change, it is imperative communications are approached with authenticity and transparency. Not only will it help breakdown a complicated subject, but it will help empower people to make changes.

This class exposed me to the fact I may be a lighter shade of green than I originally thought. It also revealed the power I hold. Going green isn’t a destination. It’s a journey. I’ve found digesting the problem and solutions in a less threatening way helped me to feel empowered, and I’m confident this approach will serve me well in my career as a communicator.

Jill Wilder


4 Comments so far
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Great presentation yesterday! I found your group’s insights about how far behind or ignorant some health care professionals were about green issues really fascinating. Your point about how these folks will be on the front lines of dealing with the damage to humans this will cause really struck me. Wow… I would think they would be the ones creating the biggest stink with rising asthma and cancer rates, etc.

As a freelance communicator/writer, what do you think would be your biggest challenge in helping an “ignorant” health care client conceive and draft a green message to their patients? Would getting them up to speed on environmental issues be the biggest obstacle? Thanks for your thoughts.


Comment by cherileb

Good question, Cheri. I think my biggest challenge wouldn’t be much different than crafting a message for my neighborhood or friends. The audience understands global climate change is an issue. However, they don’t see it is an issue that needs to be addressed immediately. Similarly, I can see how some individuals would question how they can really put a dent in the problem. This audience likes stats so providing evidence with a shorter time frame (2010 vs. 2050) would help. I also think providing recommended actions that provides the opportunity to make a difference without compromising cleanliness or speed is important.

Comment by jillwilder14

Isn’t it great when learning has that moment of enlightening “ah-ha”? Your post reminded me of what Simran said about walking out of class not with all the answers but with the right questions.

Comment by hilarywright

Hilary – I totally agree. There is no silver bullet w/ respect to global climate change. In our instant gratification-seeking worlds, that can be hard to swallow sometimes.

Comment by jillwilder14

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