Ending the Debate.

April 16, 2014

A Chasing Ice fan wrote: “Pat, for your girls, please please please take this as seriously as you would take making sure they have a future.” She was a friend of Congressman Pat Tiberi, and said she would share a copy of Chasing Ice with him next week. She had never before talked with him about climate change.

Since early March, our team has been based in central Ohio to enact a new call to action strategy: What if we took Chasing Ice to one community and shared the film with as many people as we could? Then helped them reach out to their Congressperson on climate change?

We launched the Chasing Ice Ohio Tour with the sole purpose of supporting Rep. Pat Tiberi. As Representative of the 12th District in Ohio, Congressman Tiberi’s last statement on climate change was he “doesn’t think there is a consensus among scientists about whether global warming is proven.” Yet 97% of the scientific experts recognizes that man-made climate change is happening, and already 78% of the core of Rep. Tiberi’s district (Franklin County) recognizes that climate change is happening!

chasing-ice-news1That’s when we realized we could use Chasing Ice in this one community as a tool to inspire and engage the public—and possibly change the views of one of our nation’s lawmakers. Over the last month in, we have:

  • Conducted FREE screenings for over 5,200 people, including at key high schools, colleges, and local groups in central Ohio and District 12.
  • Given away over 1,400 educational DVDs.
  • Met with Rep. Tiberi and his staff in Washington DC. He and his team expressed great interest in seeing our research and data, plus all the messages we collect from the public.
  • Collaborated with over 60 local organizations to host events, including faith-based groups like the Catholic Climate Covenant and Interfaith Power and Light, as well as hunting and fishing groups, farmers, students and scouting groups.
  • Hosted over 30 events with 35 more lined up.
  • Received hundreds of messages of support from constituents of the Congressman, through posters, photos, and social media posts.
  • Connected the dots between world-wide changes and the local impacts happening in Ohio.

Why are we doing this? Because to properly address climate change, our leaders in Washington need to stop debating whether climate change is actually happening in order to take action. But these leaders are concerned that if they change their stance on climate change, they might lose votes and lose their job, which has happened to others.

As storytellers, we’ve realized that we could use Chasing Ice to reframe the issue and create an opposite effect. Through sharing the film, the public is not only able to become aware of the reality of the science and SEE the visual evidence of climate change, but also use this knowledge to support their representatives. Soon the Congressman will see that his constituents want him to rethink his stance, and that’s the only way for him to properly REPRESENT his district.

chasing-ice-news3If we can support one Congressman at a time to simply acknowledging the science of climate change, we can then create a movement across the country with other representatives to create the change we need. It’s only a matter of time until our political leaders are forced to take action on extreme weather and climate change.

It is our hope that Rep. Tiberi recognizes he has opportunity to lead the way. The future will revere those leaders who bring the two sides together on this critical issue. And we can do it in a way that recognizes the values of both the Democratic and Republican parties. We can affect change on climate change, but we need our leaders to embrace the science for us to get there.

Through use of Chasing Ice and the power of our collective voice, we can create a movement that turns the tide on climate change, one Congressperson at a time.

Jeff Orlowski
Director, Chasing Ice

If you want to tell Rep. Tiberi your thoughts, please be SUPPORTIVE and respectful, not attacking. Would you want to listen to someone criticizing and yelling at you?

To tweet his team: @tiberipress

Visit our Chasing Ice Website, redesigned for the Chasing Ice Ohio Tour. While you’re there, feel free to SUPPORT OUR EFFORTS in Chasing Action! Thanks very much.