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Rocky Mountain PowerShift 2012

Rocky Mountain PowerShift 2012

This conference aims to engage students in workshops, presentations, and networking to work towards a better tomorrow.  The topics include sustainable farming, outreach and education, sustainable energy, conservation, and much more.  The conference is February 17-19 and will include students from all over the northwest.  The goal is to bring forth a new generation of activists.

Power Shifts have been happening around our country since 2007. Regional conferences have been held every other year, but the Rocky Mountain region and our issues have been underrepresented until now. Together students from all over the Rocky Mountain region will converge in Missoula, Montana to exchange regional success stories and campaigns, hear from climate movement leaders, and learn from each other how to organize and launch new campaigns.

To meet the unique climate challenges facing our region today, we know we’ll need a diversity of tactics and approaches, and we’ll bring them together in Montana. Now is the time for the youth of the Rocky Mountain region to stand up and demand a lifestyle change. New organizers will have the chance to learn many new organizing skills and seasoned organizers will build upon their skills and develop new ones by working through special curriculum tracks.

This conference will also include a series of workshops and panel discussions in many different areas, as well as many amazing keynote speakers and some super fun socials. We’re working to educate and prepare the next generation of civic leaders, promote sustainability initiatives, and provide opportunities for collaborative efforts throughout the region.

New Report:  Americans’ Global Warming Beliefs and Attitudes in November 2011

New Report:  Americans’ Global Warming Beliefs and Attitudes in November 2011

George Mason University’s Centre for Climate Change Communication has released the second and third reports from their latest national survey on Americans’ climate change and energy beliefs, attitudes, policy support, and behavior. In the report Americans’ Global Warming Beliefs and Attitudes in November 2011 we find that:

Beliefs and Attitudes

  • Public understanding that global warming is happening remained essentially unchanged at 63 percent, while belief that it is caused mostly by human activities increased three points since May 2011, to 50 percent.
  • 54 percent of Americans worry about global warming, while 60 percent say the issue is personally important to them.
  • 41 percent of Americans believe that most scientists think global warming is happening, while 39 percent believe there is a lot of disagreement among scientists.
  • In May 2011, only 13 percent of Americans correctly understood that the great majority of climate scientists think global warming is happening. In our November survey, we asked Americans how their level of concern about global warming would change if “90 percent of climate scientists were to agree and state publicly that global warming is happening.”
  • Almost half of Americans (47%) said this would increase their level of concern, while 48 percent said it would have no impact, and 5 percent said it would decrease their level of concern.
  • A majority of Americans (57%) now disagree with the statement, “With the economy in such bad shape, the US can’t afford to reduce global warming” - an 8 point increase in disagreement since May 2011.

Extreme Weather and Climate Change

  • After a record-breaking year of weather extremes, 56 percent of Americans said that weather in the U.S. has gotten worse over the past several years, 3 percent said it has gotten better, and 41 percent said it has been about the same as normal.
  • 65 percent said that global warming is affecting weather in the United States.
  • Majorities said that global warming made the following events worse in 2011:
    • The record high summer temperatures in the U.S. (67%)
    • The drought in Texas and Oklahoma (65%)
    • The Mississippi River floods in the spring (60%)
    • The record snowfalls in the U.S. in 2010 and 2011 (60%)
    • Hurricane Irene (57%)
  • However, 46 percent of Americans also said that global warming made the summer East Coast earthquake worse, indicating a flawed understanding of climate change as also documented in our recent study on Americans’ Knowledge of Climate Change.
  • 58 percent of Americans said that the record heat waves last summer strengthened their belief that global warming is occurring, up 4 points since May 2011, while only 39 percent said that the record snowstorms in the eastern U.S. made them question whether global warming is occurring, down 8 points.
  • 38 percent of Americans said they have personally experienced the effects of global warming, up 4 points since May of 2011. Of these, 58 percent said they have experienced global warming in the county, parish, or borough where they live, 26 percent in their home state, and 22 percent elsewhere in the U.S.

Trust

  • Americans trust “climate scientists” (74%) more than “other kinds of scientists” (65%) as a source of information about global warming.
  • Majorities trust their local public health department (61%) and their own primary care doctor (56%) as a source of information about global warming.
  • Fewer Americans trust politicians as a source of information about global warming, including President Obama (48%), their own U.S. congressional representative (31%), Herman Cain (28%), Mitt Romney (26%), Michelle Bachman (25%), Rick Perry (25%), or John Huntsman (24%). Unfortunately, the survey did not ask about Newt Gingrich who has recently surged in the polls.
  • Only 14 percent of Americans have ever heard of “the United Nations’ panel of climate experts, the “Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).”
  • Regardless of their prior awareness, all respondents were asked how much they trust or distrust the IPCC as a source of information about global warming: 32 percent said they strongly (7%) or somewhat trust (25%) the IPCC, 16 percent strongly (6%) or somewhat distrust (10%) the IPCC, while 52 percent said they don’t know.

“Peak Resources”
For the first time, we asked Americans when, if ever, the United States will start to experience serious shortages of natural resources:

  • 35 percent of Americans said that the U.S. is already experiencing or will experience serious shortages of oil in the next 10 years.
  • By contrast, fewer believe serious shortages are imminent for precious metals like gold, silver or platinum (21%), coal or natural gas (20%), base metals like copper, lead or zinc (18%), and uranium (16%).
  • 10 to 14 percent of Americans believe there will never be shortages of these resources.
  • Roughly a third to half of Americans say they don’t know when the U.S. might experience serious shortages of these natural resources.
  • Just over half (54%) say that they are very (9%) or somewhat worried (45%) about the U.S. running out of natural resources.
  • In the report Americans’ Actions to Conserve Energy, Reduce Waste, and Limit Global Warming in November 2011, we report on the current status of behaviors to save energy at home and on the road, consumer behaviors to reward or punish companies, and citizen behaviors to express their views about global warming to elected officials and others. Most of these behaviors have remained relatively unchanged since May of 2011. There are two interesting trends in energy saving behavior at home, however:
    • 54 percent of Americans say that “all” or “most” of the light bulbs in their home are energy-efficient compact fluorescents, a 15-point increase since 2008.
    • Conversely, only 23 percent of Americans say that they “always” set the thermostat to 68 degrees or cooler in the winter, a 15-point drop since 2008.

    The two reports can be downloaded here:

    Americans’ Global Warming Beliefs and Attitudes in November 2011

    Americans’ Actions to Conserve Energy, Reduce Waste, and Limit Global Warming in November 2011

Environmental Education Survey - Integrating EE into the B.C. Classroom

Environmental Education Survey - Integrating EE into the B.C. Classroom

Dear CBEEN Members,

A colleague, Connie Cirkony, is researching how B.C. K-12 teachers integrate environmental education into their practice by conducting surveys through related organizations throughout BC.

I encourage you to participate in this survey by clicking on the following LINK. It should take 10-15 minutes.

Your survey answers will be helpful in understanding how BC educators integrate environmental education into their practice, as well as identifying effective strategies and significant barriers. I have also reviewed her survey and have added feedback so it also reflects the needs of environmental educators in the Columbia Basin.

The survey closes on December 16th, 2011.

Please contact me directly if you have any questions.

Take the survey now!

Eli Baker
Executive Director
Columbia Basin Environmental Educators Network

EECOM’s Canadian Awards of Excellence in Environmental Education

EECOM’s Canadian Awards of Excellence in Environmental Education

Recognizing contributions of outstanding individuals and organizations engaged in environmental learning across the country!

Call for award nominations ...Give your friends and colleagues the best gift – nominate them for an EECOM award!

DEADLINE: February 1st, 2012

For more information on award criteria or for how to nominate someone, go to the EECOM website.

Call for award reviewers ...

EECOM is looking for anyone interested in reviewing award nominations. For more information or to express your interest, please contact Leigh Bird, Award Committee Chair: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Waterlution’s Art of Hosting Water Dialogues

Waterlution’s Art of Hosting Water Dialogues

Waterlution is thrilled to announce a unique opportunity for leadership development in 2012, with a water-tailored facilitation training series: the Art of Hosting Water Dialogues. Waterlution is partnering with the Art of Hosting to offer those connected through the Waterlution network a great opportunity to become true hosts of space around water discussions.

Goal: to develop strong water leaders with the capacity to host conversations that matter for the health of our most precious resource.

The Art of Hosting Water Dialogues Workshops:
British Columbia (Bowen Island): Friday April 13 - Sunday April 15, 2012
Alberta (Canmore): Monday April 16 - Wednesday April 18, 2012
Ontario (Stouffville): Friday April 20 - Sunday April 22, 2012

Application deadline: January 23, 2012 at www.waterlution.org/aohwd

These two-and-a half-day events will be hosted by Tatiana Glad (co-founder of Waterlution, principal of Engage! InterAct and founder of The Hub Amsterdam) and Chris Corrigan (co-founder of Harvest Moon Consultants and one of Canada’s most reputed facilitators). Karen Kun will also join participants at the Ontario workshop. Drawing on The Art of Hosting - a global community of practitioners and a practice in understanding the patterns of community-building beneath methodologies - we will discover and learn the art of the ‘host’ and how to host the conversations that matter for the health of our water.

A valuable professional development experience that you do not want to miss!

Applications are now open! www.waterlution.org/AOHWD

Cost of workshop: $300 (includes tax)*
*Cost includes training, workbook, accommodation and food.

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