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Methane, eBikes, and Surprising Validators

Methane, eBikes, and Surprising Validators
Biking around Portland, OR, (last year) where my biking as transportation fanaticism was first born (in 1997).

Welcome to the first issue of my Climate Influence newsletter! I've launched this as a way to serve up some of the most interesting tidbits I discover along the way, and give some sustainability and climate action leadership context to recent news. A lot of what's being covered these days has hidden climate action-nudging wisdom. Identifying that, and providing insight on how your organization might leverage it, is what I do - in my corporate and NGO advising work, on my new Living Change podcast, and via my Twitter , LinkedIn and LinkTr.ee curations.

I will write this newsletter the same way I talk. There will, no doubt, be more exclamation points and capital letters than any editor would advise, but enthusiasm for clever solutions and straight up frustration at why we haven't long since acted (!) drives my writing style. I'm a positive, hopeful person who gets irritated by inaction. And, my focus is B2B/P2P for lack of a better description. While there are plenty of great consumer-facing climate action campaigns, we are not yet holding those with corporate and political decision-making power to the fire.

My aim is to show that stepping into that fire doesn't have to burn those leaders. If they pay attention and communicate well, being in that fire will ignite positive action on their parts, and help their constituents /stakeholders trust their leadership, and their annual appearances on global climate event stages, for example, much more. Here goes. Thanks for joining me!

I am always excited to see mainstream business coverage about the climate influence of a shift in agricultural practices. Even with a Global Methane Pledge front and center during COP26, there was no major buzz on the farming and food systems sources. This is one of the reasons I regularly call for any corporate executives or political leaders to go plant-based, and when they have done so, to be much more public about it - and the climate connection. Bloomberg piece ($) by Naureen S. Malik.

This point about Eric Adams's dyslexia caught my eye. It's because he experienced the challenges and figured out his way through it that he is motivated to change things in NYC. His transparency about his own experience helps him understand the issue and make change in a way that his stakeholders can trust. His being plant-based, and public about it, is along the same lines. He has been very public about his near-death brush with a diabetes diagnosis and how that nudged his diet change. Now, his public stance means he is more trusted about the "why" as he and his team nudge NYC school and other institutional food in a more plant-based direction. That is the climate influence he's been "prepping" the ground for, for years. New York Times piece by Emma G. Fitzsimmons ($).

It’s Time For Everyone to Stop Ignoring E-Bikes
Find out why it’s crucial for reports to focus on the potential of e-bikes.

It was great to be quoted (as my usual very frank self) in this recent Treehugger piece by Lloyd Carr: "We talk about 'just transition' in energy, but when it comes to EVs, this 'but everyone needs and can afford a car' narrative is all we get. Why not do a deeper dive on Class 1 eBikes and the huge potential those have for social justice AND climate action? The stories of new-to-eBike riders tell are incredible validation. They are an undersold solution. Better media coverage of EV-bikes as real transportation and climate action could do a huge service to this transition." The climate influence of bikes, and of more people with leadership platforms being seen ON them, is huge.  I'll just keep getting louder.

I'd argue that we are not doing a good enough job communicating a message that normalizes that the smart leaders are veering plant-based. Those who aren't (similar to those mayors who are not demonstrably supporting safe streets to get more people on bikes) are irrelevant. Guardian piece by Amanda Schupak.

The more we "name and fame" those (however few) who are being visible choosing to eat less meat (and dairy and eggs), the more it becomes a leadership social norm. That can change big conversations. There are "surprising validator" stories to tell, and those can be powerful.  See my December 2020 workshop on this for 50by40.org Global Engagement Summit.

I welcome feedback and any tips you all have on the (particularly U.S. based) stories you come across that have an under-sung climate influence angle. Until next time...