National climate group coming to tri-cities this weekend

When it comes to making change, it can be tough to feel like one person has any weight behind their voice, especially in a political environment. The Citizens Climate Lobby is hoping to change that perception this weekend.

Stoney Creek resident Delma Bratvold has been a CCL member since last March.

“There are many people in this area recognizing the need to do what we can,” Bratvold said. “Because of the size of this issue, we need a national policy.”

She said many conversations about climate change get very emotional, very quickly, which she said was not an effective method of making change. Instead, getting right to the policy-makers is the way to go.

“The workshop is meant to help people to be able to do something,” she said. “Their constituents want to start finding a national solution.”

These methods include calling local, state and federal representatives, whose contact information is public record, as well as writing letters to the editor in local newspapers.

For a topic that is often deeply political in nature, Bratvold said this was not always the case.

“I think it has become political,” she said. “Nothing is achieved by people being upset and talking past each other.”

She said when people rant and argue on social media, nothing is achieved.

“You do not get a sense of the average person,” she said.

The conference, which will take place at ETSU’s Roger Stout Hall Saturday, Sept. 14, from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., will also include strategies and information surrounding House Bill 763, otherwise known as the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act.

“I look at the scale of climate change, and as an individual, I have no power,” she said. “We have to work together.”

Bratvold said the conference will be revenue-neutral and non-partisan in scope.

However, she said the conference will not focus on the statistics and research surrounding climate change, as that is not its focus.

“This is not for people still trying to decide if it is real or not,” she said.

Regardless, she said events like this work to empower people to reach out to those who can make a difference in their communities.

“It offers hope,” Bratvold said.

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