Climate Ride Event Seattle townhall

Moving the Story on Climate Change, Our Obligation to Respond” townhall

60 participants gathered on zoom on Sunday, May 30 for the Climate Ride’s kickoff event, a conversation on “Moving the story on climate change: our obligation to respond.” The five panelists spoke on the importance of story-telling in the climate movement.  Here’s what they said:

Greta Lapp Klassen (rider, English major at Goshen College): 

“I think (English) often gets discounted as a frivolous, pointless study, but the reason I’ve been drawn to it is that I’ve always felt intuitively that humans communicate best through story… If we want to convince people and evoke emotions and make real change on this issue, we can’t just throw statistics at people without a moving story.”  

Daniel Penner (senior video producer at Grist)

“When Grist started… 40 percent of people thought climate change was happening.  In the past 20 years that’s changed, that number is closer to 75 percent.  There is a lot more awareness that this is an issue that we need to solve. Grist has shifted more to solutions, to social justice issues.”  

Kate Yoder, associate editor at Grist: “It’s important to avoid talking about things as a fight or a battle, or a political win, and talk about why it’s actually important to people’s lives.”  

Elaine Hickman (member of Seattle Mennonite Church): 

“There has been a lot of direct action here (in Seattle) that inspires me… As I look around I’m hopeful, it seems that indigenous people are getting more acknowledgement and victories. I’m hopeful that they will be given their rightful place as leaders because we desperately need their leadership.”  

Caleb Schrock-Hurst (rider, student at Eastern Mennonite Seminary): “(On the Climate Ride) we have some really really excellent athletes… and then there are people like Greta and myself who have not done anything of the sort, but I think that ties nicely to climate as well.  This is something that we need to bring everyone along on, people who have  a lot of experience and people who are new to the party.”