We had 16 attend our all-day workshop at the Rotorua Arts Centre on 10 Feb – a good number for discussion, and a range of ages from the 20s to 81. Jeanette presented with help from Pat , and with invaluable local organising help from Jenny Lux.
We covered ways of having a conversation about climate change: identifying shared values, understanding the other person’s point of view, making it relevant to them and motivating with hope rather than fear and guilt and too many facts. One theme that kept coming up was the balancing of pessimism and optimism, dealing with feelings of helplessness and building a supportive group. We practised this with role plays. Comments like “The Declaration made me feel excited” were very encouraging.
We also covered where emissions come from, which matter most, simple things that communities can do to reduce them, and whether to measure tonnes of carbon or adopt targets like travelling fewer km or producing less waste. (We recommend the latter.)
People identified communities in Rotorua that they were part of, but the idea of trying to stimulate a climate action plan in their school, workplace, union, or street is still a step too far for many people. They commented they want to take more personal action and get their own household in order before they tackle a wider community. We learned that if that is where people are, that is where we need to be too. We are confident it will grow from there.
We are looking forward to the next one in Tauranga on 24 March.