Category: Quarterly Newsletter

April 2021 Newsletter

Dear Friends,

Happy Spring! Just like the daffodils and tulips that are popping up here in Princeton, there’s lots of new activity among our growing team of volunteers. From presenting the Primer to our first international business audience, to our new website, to a great event with one of our climate science advisors, our momentum is on the upswing.

There is still great concern as the science becomes clearer and because so many people are underestimating the risk of climate change and clinging to the status quo. But there are more reasons for hope than in a long time, as new technologies offer answers.

We are hopeful and energized by positive news and developments in addressing the climate crisis. We hope you are too! Staying informed and engaged is an important way to be part of the solution.

Warmly,
Kathleen Biggins
Founder & President

Primer Presentation Highlights

In 2021, our growing team of trained presenters has already delivered our Primer presentation (via Zoom) 18 times to nearly 1,000 people. Here we spotlight two of this year’s Primer events.

C-Change has gone global! In early March we presented our “Climate Change Primer for Business” to our first international audience. Employees of Commonwealth Bank of Australia tuned in from Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore, London, Amsterdam, and New York. Here’s what Bill Woodley, the bank’s head of U.S., U.K., and Europe, had to say about the event:
 
“Kathleen Biggins presented the C-Change Conversations Primer to great acclaim to about 200 bankers and business people located across the globe
. The Primer is logically prepared and delivered, giving the audience both the foundational science behind climate change and relating it to issues that matter to everyone. Throughout the presentation, Kathleen weaves in themes such as Jobs and Economy, Health and Personal Security, and Geopolitical Stability, demonstrating how climate change impacts them all. The Primer is pitched as a ‘non-partisan conversation’ on the topic of climate change – designed to push past political preconceptions and attitudes – and it delivers on this promise most effectively. Kathleen’s style is passionate, not preachy, and leads the audience to the conclusion that action is imperative and overdue. Some of the examples of technology-led initiatives are fascinating and show how sustainable business can have positive impacts on our local economies and communities. I would recommend the C-Change Primer as a great investment of time for people of all backgrounds and experience, but particularly to companies that want to ensure their employees understand and can speak comfortably about climate change.”

Sustainable New Jersey’s Climate Summit

Our home state of New Jersey is instituting climate change education for grades K-12 and across disciplines, not just in the area of science. In February, C-Change was pleased to be a featured presenter for Sustainable Jersey’s Climate Summit, where students and teachers participated in virtual sessions to learn about actionable ways to address the climate crisis. Our “Climate Science Primer for Educators” helped the audience of teachers feel more comfortable and confident in their ability to bring high quality and accurate climate change information to their students. Since the Summit, C-Change has met with school leaders and administrators to discuss ways C-Change could support the state’s climate change education initiative and has been invited to present the Primer at another teachers conference in May.

Meet the Team

From Kathleen Biggins –

“I’m on it.”  Those are the most frequent words I hear from Catherine Sidamon-Eristoff, our Treasurer, overseer of Development, and Primer presenter. Her “can do” attitude and impressive skill sets – she’s a talented writer and presenter and is world-class in pulling people together and forging connections – make Catherine a critically important and respected member of our team.

Catherine is on our Executive Committee and helps to drive strategy and develop policy. She is also willing to “roll up her sleeves” and get a tedious, brain-numbing job like overseeing charitable registrations in 50 states not only done, but done well. She exudes competence and professionalism, is unflappable (despite being tested on multiple occasions), and is truly artful in her ability to run meetings. In short, she is one of those people who has and gives it all – a leader and a team player with both great heart and intellect. 

We are so grateful for her many contributions. Learn more about Catherine below.

From Catherine Sidamon-Eristoff –

Why I’m involved with C-Change: I joined C-Change because I believe that climate change is the overriding issue of our time, and we need to heighten awareness of the scientific facts and implications for ourselves, our global economy, and our planet. While I have been involved in environmental education my entire adult life, the C-Change Primer and our other education programs provide exactly the kind of information more people need so they can better understand the challenges and opportunities ahead.

What have you learned about climate change that makes you hopeful? I am hopeful because the dialogue around the issues has shifted from “Is it real?” to “What are we doing about it?”  More and more, businesses, governments, and citizens are acknowledging the risks of climate change and how it affects them. There are myriad creative ways to address these risks, with as many coming from nature and individual action as from technological advances. I am also hopeful because I have seen firsthand that once people understand the science, they are willing to act to affect sustainable change.

Save the Date for “Sips and Stems”

Wednesday, May 19th, from 4:00 – 5:30pm

Please join us for flower arranging and conversation (under a tent) to benefit C-Change Conversations.

Stay tuned for more in-person and virtual events!
Let us know if you’d like an invitation.

Conversation with Bernadette Woods Placky

According to many climate scientists, the biggest impediment to preventing further climate change is the lack of public will to address it. Hope is crucial for inspiring action and is central to our approach to building consensus around addressing climate change. 

And so, in early February we were excited to host “Reasons for Hope,” a conversation with one of C-Change Conversations’ climate advisors, Bernadette Woods Placky. Bernadette is an Emmy Award winning meteorologist and director of Climate Central’s Climate Matters program. She has attended international conferences on climate change and is often featured on national and local broadcasts explaining how climate change is exacerbating many extreme weather events.

Thank you Garden Club of America!

C-Change Conversations was deeply grateful to receive a generous donation along with heartfelt thanks from the Garden Club of America (GCA) for our leadership in climate change education, especially during its 2021 National Affairs and Legislation Conference (NAL) and for the past five years. As noted in our January newsletter, C-Change team members Kathleen Biggins helped to kick off the 2021 conference by moderating a panel of the keynote speakers; Sophie Glovier led a session on how individuals can help their community take action; and Katy Kinsolving educated audience members about the nexus of agriculture and climate change and making wise food choices to protect our planet.

C-Change has presented our Climate Change Primer to more than 14,000 people in 31 states and overseas, thanks in large part to the support of GCA and its members. About half of GCA’s 200 member garden clubs have hosted Primer presentations in their communities or via Zoom, with new invitations arriving each week. While our organization has grown from four GCA club members to 30 volunteers across the country, and we now present to a wide range of audiences, we will never forget that our work was inspired by an NAL presentation and that garden clubs took a chance on hosting our Primer presentation when we were just starting out. We are so thankful for GCA’s continuing support.

C-Change Launches a New Website!

This month C-Change launched a beautiful new website that reflects our vision, mission, and the scope of our work to improve understanding about the science and effects of climate change and facilitate ongoing discussion and engagement on the issue.

Many thanks to Jo Singer and her team at Howard Design Group and to C-Change team members Pam Parsons and Carrie Dyckman for their patience, creativity, and phenomenal effort behind this important tool for introducing C-Change Conversations to the world. We hope you will check out the new website and visit it often for new resources that will help you learn more and feel comfortable talking about climate change.

ICYMI

  • Our recent Ask a Scientist newsletter includes questions from people like you and answers from our climate science advisors.
  • Check out the latest issue of Curated Climate News, C-Change’s monthly review of both hopeful and concerning news reports on climate change.
  • C-Change co-founder Carrie Dyckman is brimming with optimism about progress on climate change and urges us all to take personal action. Read her blog: Time to Sweat the Small Stuff
  • Wondering how our food choices impact the planet?  Check out this video by Katy Kinsolving, also a C-Change co-founder. She created it for the Garden Club of America’s 2021 National Affairs and Legislation conference. 

Read More

January 2021 Newsletter

With the New Year comes exciting news from C-Change Conversations. This month we celebrate the milestone of delivering our Climate Change Primer presentation to more than 10,000 people in 30 states. In 2020 alone, we gave the presentation 32 times! We aim to double this record-setting number in 2021.

Read More

October 2020 Newsletter

Welcome to the fall edition of our quarterly newsletter. As you will see below, we are committed to reaching new audiences – even during the pandemic – and extending our impact far and wide.
 
In the Northeast, the leaves are beginning to turn, splashes of vibrant colors erupt across the tree-scape, and we are reminded of the ever-constant flow of seasons, the consistent and comforting rhythms of nature. Yet, at the same time, we are experiencing nature in ways that are no longer consistent or comforting – whether it’s the hottest temperature ever recorded earlier this year, running out of traditional names for tropical storms because we’ve had so many, or the behemoth “gigafire” (an unprecedented 4 million acres) burning in California. These events underscore that our world is evolving, made more dangerous by climate change.
 
There is just so much vying for our attention – the pandemic, the election, racial injustice, to name just a few – and it’s easy to get overwhelmed. But we’ve got to keep our eye on the biggest threat of all – the one that has so clearly crossed from the future into the present – that nature is now playing by new and dangerous rules. Our economy and civilization are built on the premise that nature acts a certain way. There is a good chance that this premise will no longer hold true if we continue on our current emissions path. We are changing the chemical composition of our atmosphere, which, in turn, is changing our natural systems at a breathtaking rate.
 
So, what can we do?
 
Scientists say we need to pull together, to forge social consensus for action, to face this threat successfully and overcome it. But we can only pull together if enough people care. People will only care if they understand the scope and scale of the risk and how it will impact them personally. C-Change Conversations provides that understanding – in a clear, science-based, non-partisan, non-threatening way. And we bring that message across the country, including to conservative groups and to conservative places where this message isn’t often heard. We are successfully opening minds and hearts and pulling people together so we can meet this threat.
 
We are working hard to provide valuable information to empower you, our C-Change family, to influence others and help build the consensus, too. Thank you for being on this journey with us.
 
Best,
Kathleen Biggins
Founder and President

Land Trust Alliance National Conference Features C-Change Speakers
C-Change returned to a national stage on October 6th with Kathleen Biggins and C-Change co-founder Katy Kinsolving speaking during “Rally 2020,” the annual conference of the Land Trust Alliance. More than 3,600 land conservation trustees and practitioners virtually attended the 3-day conference that examined issues critical to the future of land conservation. Kathleen and Katy presented “How to Talk to Moderates and Conservatives about Climate Change” to an audience of 500. Their talk featured excerpts of the C-Change Primer presentation and examined how land preservation and use, and agricultural practices, can mitigate climate change. After the taped presentation, Kathleen and Katy fielded questions from the audience. You can watch the presentation here.

In her introduction to the presentation, Lisa Ott, President of the North Shore Land Alliance in Oyster Bay, New York and a member of the Garden Club of America, notes that C-Change Conversations team members were “just the right people to bring this message” about climate change to her colleagues and that they presented the risks and opportunities of climate change “factually … in a science-based way … and they were not threatening to the people of our community.”

New Primer Presenters Extend Our Reach
A handful of C-Change volunteers have presented the Primer to about 10,000 people in 29 states since 2018. The demand for non-partisan, science-based information about climate change spurred us to expand our ranks, and over time, we developed a robust presenter-training program that will enable us to reach even more people.

C-Change is pleased to introduce two recent graduates of the program who’ve spent many months studying, practicing, and ultimately earning the distinction of becoming trained Primer presenters. Welcome Dallas Hetherington and Nancy Ylvisaker! 

Read More

July 2020 Newsletter

We live in interesting times (an understatement!). Our sense of security has been shattered by the COVID-19 crisis and our sense of identity challenged by George Floyd’s killing and the ensuing reflection of who we are as a nation and as individuals. We are emotionally spent.

And yet, exhausted as we are, we need to keep in mind another challenge, climate change. Its threat may feel less immediate, but its consequences are much longer term. Scientists warn we need to act now, or our current emissions path will create a dangerous and dystopian world – one with devastating heat waves, food deprivation, more droughts and floods, and more exposure to disease. Because of our inaction so far, we are on track to leave our children and grandchildren a world we would never accept for ourselves.

Before COVID-19 emerged, the momentum on climate change had shifted. Republican leaders, recognizing that younger Republicans and independents care deeply about the issue, were finally talking about solutions like planting trees, investing in carbon capture and new nuclear power technologies. Democrats were fleshing out different approaches to a “Green New Deal.”

Business leaders like BlackRock CEO Larry Fink warned that climate change has become the defining factor in companies’ long term prospects and that it would fundamentally reshape finance. Climate change was being discussed much more frequently in board rooms, shareholder meetings, and on earnings calls. Jobs in the clean-tech sector were booming. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the fastest growing jobs in 2018 were in wind and solar.

Today much of that momentum has been lost as the world wrestles with the COVID-19 crisis. Some countries are using their stimulus packages to pivot to the future – building green infrastructure and jobs. Others are simply trying to restore the status quo. We are at a critical inflection point, and how we, as individuals, nations, and a global society, choose to act will have important ramifications for our future.

And C-Change is still at work and has helped nearly 10,000 people understand the risks of climate change with our award-winning Primer. We are energized to reach an even larger audience when we look back on the great reception and positive news coverage we received for Primer presentations in Shreveport, LA and to the World Affairs Council in Hilton Head, SC.

During the COVID lockdown we continue to educate others remotely with our Primer video (followed by a live Q&A session) and webcasts. We are also working to expand our website and to deliver more climate information and analysis to our supporters. Please let us know if you want to help by inviting us to send our video or present virtually to clubs, schools, or associations in your community. Be well and stay safe.

Warmly,
Kathleen Biggins, Founder and President

Why Businesses Need to Lead on Climate Change
Pre-COVID, Kathleen interviewed Andrew Winston — a noted author and advisor to multinational companies — in the Princeton Public TV station. They had a fascinating discussion about why it is in businesses’ best interest to aggressively move to reduce climate risks — for their own bottom line and for the rest of society. Watch the interview here. 

Tips for Taking Action

  1. This week, resolve to have one conversation about climate change. Next month, have two. This video will inspire you to take that first step.
  2. Consider buying an electric car. This climate-friendly car guide from Climate Central will help you figure out which one might be right for you.
  3. Try Meatless Mondays. Cutting back on animal products from a quarter to half can make each of our carbon footprints a lot smaller.

C-Change in the News

  • Venture capitalist and climate change leader Scott Amyx interviewed C-Change founder Kathleen Biggins for his podcast. Watch the interview here.
  • Idea Mensch is an interview platform for entrepreneurs, makers, and doers. Read the interview with Kathleen.

Upcoming Events
C-Change is rescheduling in-person events with webcasts where possible. Let us know if you’d like to arrange a Primer presentation with your business group, club, church, or school.  

Tentative upcoming events include presentations to the Southampton, NY Garden Club, Jackson Hole, WY Thursday Roundtable, and the Young Presidents Organization. The Land Trust Alliance has confirmed our spot on the schedule for its October annual conference, Rally 2020.

Read More

May 2020 Newsletter

Back in February, C-Change Conversations presented the Primer to our largest audience ever (600 people!) in Shreveport, LA. Then we headed to public and private events in South Carolina, speaking to curious, concerned, everyday citizens and business and community leaders alike, all grappling with the issue of climate change.

Today is a very different story as we practice social distancing, quarantining, and adjusting to the realities of a pandemic. We are concerned with the safety of everyone, especially our many friends and supporters around the country. Our thoughts are with you as we collectively negotiate these difficult times.

And, as preoccupied as we are with COVID-19, we can’t take our eye off the slower yet no less menacing threat of climate change. Now more than ever we need trusted, scientific sources to better understand our world and
how to keep it and all of us safe.

To that end, we bring good news. C-Change Conversations is pleased to present new virtual learning resources for fans of our science-based, non-partisan approach to climate change: two virtual presentations of the award-winning C-Change Conversations Primer and “Ask a Scientist.”

While we can’t be together, we can band together to share good information and good thoughts. Please stay in touch and stay safe.

Warmly,
The C-Change Conversations Team

Virtual Presentations of the C-Change Conversations Primer
In celebration of Earth Day, C-Change presented the Primer as a webcast for the first time, in partnership with the New Jersey Conservation Foundation and Princeton Public Library. You can watch and share a recording of the webcast here. If you would like to schedule an interactive, virtual Primer presentation like this for your group, please let us know. Or, consider watching this recording of our Primer presentation, which we produced in the Princeton Community Television studios. 

Ask a Scientist
At a time when there are many unanswerable questions, we are happy to have enlisted three trusted scientists to provide answers to common climate questions (see below). We encourage you to submit your own questions here and visit the C-Change website often to read new questions and answers from the scientists.

Read More
Weeding in Koyli Alpha

September 2019 Newsletter

Solutions to the catastrophic effects of climate change are being developed at an astounding rate. Whether it is fusion, the holy grail of energy that finally seems within reach or our ability to make food, vodka, building materials, and clothing from excess carbon in the air (this video explains how), the possibilities seem endless. 
This is great news, but we are still in a race to preserve our planet. Excess carbon emissions outpace the policies we need to push through promising climate change solutions. Those emissions are causing havoc in our world today and portend ruinous effects in the future. In order to win this race, we need to start working more smartly and quickly and invest more wisely. We need good policy to set the rules of the road and to make sure we concentrate on the areas that will yield the best results. In order to create and set good policy, we need to come together in common purpose.
 
C-Change Conversations hopes to build common purpose by helping people understand why smart climate change action is a win-win for our economy and for our future. 

Thank you for being part of our journey.

Kathleen Biggins, Founder
C-Change Conversations

This Gives Us Hope
The Great Green Wall of Africa is a 10-mile wide, 4,000-mile long greenbelt designed to stop desertification around the Sahara.  As trees grow, they change the weather patterns, enhancing rainfall. By encouraging the planting of drought-resistant species and garnering support from local farmers and herders, policy leaders hope to contain the desert, which is expanding due to climate change, deforestation, and overgrazing. Learn more.

Did You Know?
Did you know revitalizing nature is often the most economically efficient way to fight climate change? Improving our land use approaches (such as using regenerative agriculture practices), encouraging mangroves on shorelines, protecting peat and wetlands, and reforestation could absorb up to 30% of excess carbon by 2030. 

Tips for Taking Action

  1. Talk about your climate change concerns with family and friends. The Nature Conservancy offers a how-to guide with 4 simple tips to get the conversation started. Check out and share the organization’s funny video, too!
  2. Holiday travel is right around the corner. Why not offset the carbon you release while flying or driving? Learn more.
  3. This fun and informative quiz tests your knowledge about what can be done to fight climate change. Take the quiz.

Notable Quote
“Climate change is by far the most formidable, catastrophic, and certain risk to our economic security and social stability.”  

Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson
Bloomberg Global Business Forum
September 25, 2019

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June 2019 Newsletter

Welcome to the First C-Change Conversations Newsletter!

My colleagues and I founded C-Change Conversations to educate and empower people to take action about one of the most critical issues of our time: climate change. You are on our mailing list because the topic interested you enough to attend our Primer presentation in your area or a talk by a noted expert we sponsored in Princeton, NJ on climate change impacts.

Starting today, we’ve decided to share—in the same clear, non-partisan approach we’ve always taken—what we think is relevant and thought-provoking climate change news. (Scroll down to find our selections.) The C-Change newsletter will help you stay current and provide useful tips for taking action. Our goal is to equip people who care about this issue with the information and tools to talk about it with family, friends, and even elected officials who can change policy for the good of us all.

When I was first learning about climate change and as my concern grew, I felt powerless because no matter how strong my facts and arguments were, my mostly conservative family, colleagues, and friends didn’t want to hear them, in part because the subject was socially uncomfortable, and in part because they believed the risks were being overhyped for political reasons. I felt powerless because moderates like me were not engaged on this topic, and I didn’t fit in with the liberal environmentalists who were. I felt powerless because the topic seemed too big for any individual to impact.

Fast forward to today. By the end of this year C-Change Conversations will have visited 28 states and presented the Primer to more than 7,000 people in local garden clubs, investment clubs, business clubs, country clubs, churches, libraries, schools, rotary clubs, regional planning associations, and in private homes. We’ve been on the national stage too, presenting at Garden Club of America and American Geophysical Union conferences. The initial team of four has grown to 14, and we are training new presenters around the country.

Other highlights include launching a promotional video about our work and appearing on She Roars. This podcast normally features alumnae and faculty of Princeton University, and I’m neither, so it was an honor and testament to our work to be interviewed on the show.

C-Change also has showcased 17 highly respected climate change experts from the business, military, legal, and scientific arenas. For example, in April we heard from Fred C. Rich, a noted author and former partner at the law firm of Sullivan and Cromwell, who deepened our understanding of how climate change became a partisan issue, manufactured and exploited by both sides, but now could be a bridge issue that brings us back together. He emphasized that peer to peer communication is the vital step in all of this, something we could not agree with more. You can watch his presentation here.

Our non-partisan message, that climate change is a human issue, not a political one, continues to resonate in every region of the country. Astonishingly, C-Change’s growth has been solely through word of mouth from supporters like you. Thank you for your belief in us and our mission.

Let’s keep the conversations going!
Kathleen Biggins, Founder

This Gives Us Hope
An Unusual, Bipartisan Rebuke
Former NewJersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman and three other former EPA heads from Republican and Democratic administrations recently joined forces to harshly criticize the agency’s failure to address the risks of climate change, among other concerns. Their testimony before a House subcommittee followed an April 2019 letter in which seven former EPA administrators of both parties wrote to Congress urging greater EPA oversight. Learn more.

A Moonshot for our Era
Invoking President Kennedy’s 1961 call to put a man on the moon within a decade, Michael Bloomberg, in a stirring speech to the 2019 MIT graduating class, announced his plan to address a similarly serious and complex challenge: climate change. “Beyond Carbon” is a $500 million national effort that will bolster state-level incentives and efforts to build a clean energy economy.

Did You Know?
Soggy Stuff
Experiencing flash floods, soggy lawns, and rain tempests? You probably are, now that climate change is supercharging the water cycle. The average precipitation has risen in 90% of states analyzed since 1950. In fact, the last 12 months have been the wettest on record. Learn more about how climate change is impacting rainfall nationwide and near you.

People for Paris
More than 3,700 organizations, from cities to universities to businesses, representing 155 million people across the country, have 
declared they will continue to support the Paris Agreement so that the U.S. will remain a global leader in reducing global emissions.

Tips for Taking Action
Talking is a powerful tool.
Recent research shows that conversation about climate change is critical to building consensus.
Start talking about climate change:

  • With policymakers
    Contact your elected officials here.
     Let them know that you think climate change is a threat to our health, economy, and national security.
  • In your community
    Speak up at meetings of business and civic leaders, clubs you participate in, and wherever people gather.
  • Among your family and friends
    This is how our organization got started, by like-minded friends talking about climate change and inviting others into the conversation.

Praise for the Primer
“The presentation blew me away–both in comprehensiveness of the facts and message, but also the way it is delivered with a passion and compassion that is stirring, resonating, and impactful but not far out for a skeptical conservative audience. These women have created, to my mind, one of the best, most persuasive presentations on climate change that I have seen and heard–it is the message and messenger both. Their work is revolutionary in concept and ambition.”

Joseph Stanislaw
International energy economist and co-author,
Commanding Heights: The Battle for the World Economy

Read More