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Climate champions: starting conversations

Deer Heather, our friend Carol and I attended one of the town hall meetings Portland is hosting on its Climate Action Plan. I don't know if I'm just easy to impress, or what, but I think it's fantastic that our city continues to take initiative on this global problem. It was news to me that Portland has been on it -- I believe they said since 1993 -- long before I'd ever head the terms 'global warming' or 'climate change.' They are seeking feedback before July 13, and what frequently came up in our session was the phrase: 'It's just great that we're having this conversation.' From the real-time surveys they took from those attending, we were not atypical. These people are pro-solar, bike-riding, vegetarian, green team, One Can A Month kind of people.

The plan, which Heather outlined, identifies eight areas where regular folk, just like you and me, can make changes with a goal of reducing carbon emissions by 80 percent. Ambitious? You bet! And a heck a lot easier to take actions in our own lives than to talk about it with friends, family, and neighbors who haven't yet drunk of the green kool-aid.

I left the meeting charged up. I will become a 'climate champion'! In many ways, I feel I already am one. But it's easy talking to you guys and gals. We're preaching to the choir, right? So how do you have conversations with those who are not buying into the science supporting global warming, or are in denial because they don't want to change their ways? I hope this isn't too heavy of a topic for a Friday. But really. I want to know. How do you start the conversation?

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