In December last year, I wrote to my Prime Minister, Premier, Leaders of the Opposition and my Federal and State Members of Parliament about my hope that they may work with each other to make a positive difference to climate change. I had put this off for a while because the topic overwhelms me, and I find it hard to focus on one thing and not just ramble disjointedly about all the individual and combined issues that come to mind. Also, I have seen little evidence that politicians on either ‘side’ are willing to take action.

But this is an important issue, so I finally put my doubts aside and attempted to communicate succinctly and with clarity and compassion.  I wanted my concerns to be heard and to make a difference. I also wanted to hear what they had to say about the matter. To achieve this, I used a communication pattern presented in ‘the Ongo book: Everyday nonviolence.’

The pattern looks something like:

When I think about …

I feel … because

I need … therefore

my request is …

I was wondering why I only received one response – but re-reading the email I think I see why! If you can pick the problem let me know what you think it might be in the comments. I am hoping you will offer a few suggestions so that I might learn some more. ❤

My email regarding climate change

Heading: Request for swift and decisive action on climate change

Dear (title and name of politician),

I am Rowena McGregor, resident of Ipswich, Queensland within the State electorate of Ipswich, and Federal electorate of Blair.

I am writing to you because when I hear that scientists say we have a very limited time to act or face catastrophic climate chaos and in the next moment I hear that yet another mine has been approved by my governments and yet another catastrophic climate event is forming, I feel a sense of deep sadness, and sometimes, despair.

I would like to trust that the people representing me in government will act together in the best long-term interests of people everywhere by creating and enacting policy and legislation to ensure a healthy environment for all. I would also like to acknowledge that communities reliant upon the industries causing climate change need to be supported to create new opportunities for employment so that everyone can enjoy the dignity and benefits of rewarding work.

To this end, I would love to see all MPs working together to take swift and decisive action on climate change and helping our communities transition to a post-fossil fuel future.

That’s what I will be voting for.

Kind Regards,

Rowena McGregor.

— Leave me a comment if you have any feedback!

Rowena.

Reference and photo attribution

Brett Coulstock. Cracked earth [photo]. CC BY 2.0

Catherine Cadden & Jesse Wiens (2017) The ONGO book: Everyday nonviolence.

Published by Rowena McGregor

I am an educator, librarian, & researcher interested in how a transpersonal approach can transform communication and create connections even when we are in conflict. I also love snails -- little metaphors I use to remind myself to take some time to dwell on an idea, to revisit it, to circle around it, for as long as I need before I 'get' it.

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4 Comments

  1. Your email is certainly respectful. I wonder if a direct question about what your recipients plan to do about climate change might have elicited more responses.

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  2. Thank you for the commitment concerning this global task including the need of assistance to communities in transition.
    I am sorry to say that at the recent climate conference in Poland, the Federal Government of Germany had to admit that the Federal Republic is going to fail its own climate and CO2-reduction goals. Environmentalists argue, the conference achieved too little too late, but I would like to mention that finally, it reached a new framework for regulations.
    So, you might ask questions relating to the contribution of the Commonwealth of Australia towards global climate policy and sustainable development goals.
    And what about renewable energy like solar and wind power downunder?
    Good wishes.

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  3. Dear Bernd, Yes, you are probably aware that my government is under the influence of internal and external climate change deniers. Whether they are compromised by political donors or allies, or just wanting to survive from one electoral cycle to another, the current LNP will do nothing but squabble with each other and throw mud at the opposition. I cannot express how deeply disappointed I am with them. There is more leadership coming from big and small business in this matter than our elected government. Labor will likely win the 2019 Federal election but I don’t have much faith in them either. Their priority is naturally employment and work conditions and they seem to lack the imagination and flexibility needed to find a win-win solution for workers and the environment. (They do have policies, but they are aimed at 2050, which is way too late and too many changes of government away to be effective). I believe they are also overly influenced by political donors and the electoral cycle. Sustainable development goals and climate policy are on the agenda in name only. So it may be up to communities to get together and demand change, to work out how we can partner with those in business who are already in action… I’m not sure how to do this, but that is where I will put my energies. R.

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