Looking back over many years in the communications business, one thing seems to be an enduring, sometimes downright painful thing for people--the cold call. Some are good at it. But most tend to sweat, pace, or procrastinate. Almost all try to avoid it. The problem? Simple really...it's not being in control of the conversation, not being sure how it's going to go, not feeling in command of all your facts.
The same phenomenon, I now understand, occurs in all sorts of conversations--even those involving talking with your friends, neighbors, fellow students, or colleagues about the environment and sustainability. What do you say when they object, challenge you, throw half-baked arguments back at you? After all, it's usually easier to debunk and deny than to prove something true. And especially so with complex issues like climate impact, resource depletion, biodiversity, and social responsibility.
I was very pleased, therefore, when I stumbled across a web posting a little while back that addresses this. Namely, it shares a real-life conversation between an environmental advocate and an energy executive. It's a constructive encounter, and one which can help us model our approaches. I'm thankful to Rhett Butler, of San Francisco for posting this on his web site: Mongabay.com. Below are some excerpts, and you can read the entire piece by clicking here.
My takeaway is that you don't have to feel it necessary to command all the science, all the facts. And if you can focus on the benefits vs. the fears, you may find eConsciousness ready to awaken in all sorts of people.
Here are the excerpts from Rhett's piece...
"Earlier this month I had the opportunity to make a pitch to "Mike," a top executive of a major energy company, about climate change and green energy. Mike said he didn't believe humans are influencing climate or that green energy is a key factor in the future business of his firm, "EnergyCo." I tried to persuade him otherwise, not by focusing on the science of climate change but on economics and market opportunities. It's not that science isn't important—I just didn't want to get caught up in an argument about core beliefs..."
"I suggested to Mike, EnergyCo should see this shift in public sentiment as an opportunity to improve its public relations and develop a framework to monetize a green movement. In an environment where perceived concerns over climate change are growing and energy from renewable sources is becoming increasingly price competitive with fossil fuel-based power, consumers want green energy. Further, I believe this shift in public sentiment will lead regulators to make green-energy mandates in the near future..."