Friends of Carbon Copy: Greenhouse PR


Carbon Copy is very fortunate to be working with Greenhouse PR, an outstanding communications team who help drive positive social and environmental change.

Stories are fundamental in shaping our collective imagination and influencing our behaviour. We take action when enough of us believe in the same narrative. For example, the social norms that enable us to cooperate with people we hardly know in large organisations or in the wider community are not based on instinct or close friendships, but instead on shared beliefs in a story about a common purpose or a company mission. To change the world around us, we must start by telling each other stories that are powerful enough to hold our imagination and shape the aspirations of enough people for us to take the collective leap forward.

And leap we must. We are forced to rethink the current order rather than remain within it, as our continuously expanding human system has burst its seams and overshot Earth’s carrying capacity. Knowledge of these boundaries is vital but this knowledge may have limited impact in changing our behaviour. It does not provide solutions. Knowing there is a boundary we should not cross is often an invitation to get as close to the edge as we think we can go. We are quite capable of dispassionately quantifying these global limits, although we are not good judges at living within the boundaries we have identified. We have already overstepped four: atmospheric carbon dioxide levels (an indicator for climate change), the extinction rate (an indicator for loss of biodiversity), deforestation, and nitrogen and phosphorus flows. How much longer can we continue to exceed any one of these boundaries before large, irreversible changes become unavoidable? We don’t really know.

The difficulty lies not in telling a new story but in convincing everyone to believe it. Whenever there is a contradiction with the familiar stories that shape our world, the force of convention gives the established norm a big advantage. As creatures of habit, the more we do something the more likely we are to do it. A jolt in momentum and in our mindset is needed if we are to change our habits. We are living through such a jolt, right now.

The new narrative of hope has its roots in the place where you live. This sense of belonging is not simply an antidote to becoming “citizens of nowhere” but is the key to unlocking a sustainable future. At Carbon Copy, we believe that shifting our collective imagination and behaviour on climate action comes from understanding that our future will be invented piecemeal by different communities in myriad places, and in seeing what ordinary people are already doing locally. The future is already here – it’s just not very evenly distributed.

In working with Greenhouse PR earlier this year, our Build Back Better event series brought together inspirational stories of local climate action. It is our hope that continuing to tell such stories will help even more people take action closer to home.

Photo by Suad Kamardeen on Unsplash

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