As actress and activist Nikki Reed learned during the second season of YEARS OF LIVING DANGEROUSLY, there’s a growing number of people who are working to solve climate change by pushing for a price on carbon. Carbon pricing is an economic tool that encourages polluters to switch to clean energy, by making the cost of polluting high. It’s an elegant solution that’s been supported by people on both the right and the left of the political spectrum.
The problem is that not enough people are talking about it—yet.
Carbon pricing can seem like a difficult topic to talk about. Maybe that’s because it feels abstract, dry, or boring. Maybe talking about climate change can see too depressing or overwhelming. But it doesn’t have to be that way, considering that climate change touches us all.
In the following videos, campaigners Tom Erb and Camila Thorndike offer some useful examples of how you can start a conversation about carbon pricing with different types of people: your friends, your college president and your elected representatives in government.
One of the goals of the #PutAPriceOnIt campaign, created by Our Climate and YEARS OF LIVING DANGEROUSLY, is to gain support for carbon pricing from colleges and universities. So far, presidents at over 30 schools around the U.S. have endorsed carbon pricing policy thanks in part to conversations with student campaigners. In the next video, Tom shows how to do it successfully.
Now, if we really want there to be a price on carbon, we need to let your representatives in government know. Writing letters and calling your state and federal officials is a good start, but the best way to get the message across is by meeting face-to-face. In this video, Tom and Camila have scheduled appointments at the Oregon Statehouse, but you can also use these tips if you have the opportunity to speak with elected officials at a town hall or as part of a listening tour.
“I hope you see how easy and fun it is to talk with your elected leaders,” says Camila. “The fossil fuel industry is in their offices every day–if we don’t show up for what matters to us, how will anything change?”