Sunday, June 7, 2009

‘Speed Schmooze’ - Their Attempt to Build Trust

There are many studies online that were done to help prevent public opposition to Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS or CO2 Sequestration). The same studies also address dealing with public opposition when the communication "schmooze" campaign back-fires.

These studies are clearly done to sell the public on CCS knowing no one who understood it would want it in their community. This blog has referenced many of these reports in previous entries.

Those who stand to make a financial gain see the value of investing money to to do a study to come up with a plot to schmooze the public into accepting CO2 sequestration as something good for the environment and their community.

This entry deals with yet another communication effort to gain public acceptance for CO2 sequestration projects. Below are a few quotes from a workshop on Carbon Capture and Storage that was hosted by Climate Change Central in partnership with the Institute for Sustainable Energy, Environment and Economy (ISEEE) and the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD).

Carbon Capture and

"We must be prepared to manage public communications to ensure we do not destroy years of hard work on CCS, and to help make it a reality. It is never too early
to seek public acceptance."

"Another suggestion for improvement at a future event is the provision of additional
networking opportunities including the suggestion of a ‘speed schmooze’ to lay the
foundation for constructive dialogue."

"Communication and engagement are key elements of effective stakeholding. There are a number of tools that decision makers can use to increase their chances that stakeholders become part of the solution rather than part of the problem."

"Despite internal calls for accelerating the stakeholder outreach, a public relations firm was hired instead. The PR firm addressed the issue as a technical (or Type I) problem and set out to inform the community that the issues were minor. To prove this they showed the results of an Environmental Assessment that had a "finding of no significant impact.” However, by the time this official research was communicated, the surfer community had started a bumper sticker campaign “Stop CO2 Dumping,” and anger had been generated in the local population. This put a big damper on ocean research, not just in Hawaii, but everywhere,despite the fact that the ocean is the largest carbon sink on the planet."

This blog was started to help communities around the globe find a lot of information in one place with links to web sites so they can educate themselves and form their own opinion. It is my hope that they will then organize a strong, public opposition grassroots movement to stand up for their community and fight back!

If you are a homeowner, call your insurance company now and tell them your community has been "chosen" as a site of a CO2 sequestration demonstration project. Ask them if you will be covered in the event there is an earthquake. You will most likely get the same answer we did - NO, NO COVERAGE. At our public meeting with the EPA and Battelle in the summer of 2008 they recommended we buy earthquake insurance.

Is it any wonder the companies doing these projects have so many studies on gaining public trust? If CO2 sequestration is such a good thing for communities we should see communities bidding to get them into their community instead of working hard to keep these projects from going forward.

"A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." ~Margaret Mead

"The great aim of education is not knowledge but action.
" ~ Herbert Spencer

The time to get active is NOW - If Margaret and Herbert were here today I'm sure they'd be cheering us on!