Letters to the Editor

Check out these useful tips for writing effective letters to the Editor of your local newspaper. (Source: Citizens Climate Lobby)

One of the best ways to influence members of Congress and move the national conversation forward on climate change is to get letters to the editor published.

Letters stand a better chance of getting published if they are in response to stories or commentary in the newspaper, particularly front-page stories and opinion pieces on the editorial pages.

Look through your local newspaper for letter-to-the-editor opportunities – stories or opinion pieces that have a possible connection to the climate issue. Topics may include:

  • Extreme weather events
  • The Keystone XL Pipeline
  • Renewable energy
  • Fracking
  • Rising gasoline prices

You may have to get a little creative, but you can usually find something to respond to. Once you find something, start your letter by referencing the article in the paper and then transition into how it relates to the issue of climate change. Move then to the solution – revenue-neutral carbon tax – and then wrap up your letter.

Points that can be made:

  • People throughout the world – especially the poor – will face additional food and water shortages as the Earth heats up.
  • Extreme weather will become more intense and frequent in a warming world.
  • The atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide, the principal greenhouse gas, has now exceeded 400 parts per million, a level not seen since before humans existed, when sea levels were 50 feet higher than they are today.
  • A recent study confirms that there is a consensus among 97 percent of climate scientists that global warming is caused by human activity.
  • To reduce greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change, we must transition as quickly as possible from fossil fuels to clean energy.
  • Fossil fuels are cheaper than clean energy because their price does not reflect the damage they do to society in terms of health, security and environmental degradation.
  • A market-based approach to cutting CO2 – endorsed by conservatives like George Shultz and Art Laffer – is a revenue-neutral carbon tax with proceeds returned to the public.
  • A tax-and-rebate bill – the Climate Protection Act – has been introduced in the Senate by Senators Barbara Boxer and Bernie Sanders.

Watch a 6 minute video presentation by Steve Valk discussing how to write an effective Letter to the Editor here.

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