We all have a role to play

Aside from learning a bit about the science of global warming at the “Franklin 2050: The Climate Crisis” forum held October 17 in Franklin, I learned that we all have a role to play in combatting the climate crisis.  We know the world is changing right now, in real time, not a decade away, or two or three decades when I might very well be dead. And if you don’t believe that, you’re just not paying attention, or you’re spending too much time on social media, or devouring too many daytime shows, late-night talk shows, soaps, situation comedies, hospital dramas, police or law & order series, zombie serials, or binge watching realty television, old Twilight Zone or Man from U.N.C.L.E. series, or playing too much X-Box or poker to your own peril, and to everyone and everything you care about.  Because for years and years man has been polluting and destroying its natural, physical world, without considering sustainability, and quite frankly the gig is up.  Aside from reading about the effects, attending rallies and protests, what can one do that will make an impression, no, an impact, to slow down or mitigate climate change?

There are many activities to engage in: ban plastic bags, learn how to talk about the climate crisis to wake up the public about the urgency, educate the public about the Green New Deal, show support and appear at hearings, electrify vehicles, call your representatives to support a particular bill, reduce the political power of utilities, and vote, vote and vote! 

Any movement like climate activism requires funds for a myriad of requirements; organizations like 350.org (co-founded by Bill McKibben), Sierra Club, Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) and all lesser known climate activist organizations require funding sources. Fundraising means intelligence gathering.  This means prospective donors’ wealth and philanthropic giving history and capacity to give is investigated and compiled.  To gather wealth and donor intelligence prospect research is undertaken. Prospect research is a technique to learn about donors’  personal, professional and political histories, their assets, salaries, non profit affiliations too.  From this intelligence gathering strategies are devised to engage with the prospect, build relations and attempt to determine and reasonably estimate the amount a person can give, his ability to give (capacity) and affinity to give.   There is no one resource that provides this detailed information.  (I produced background research about individuals, organizations and companies for the salespeople at my last place of employment.  If I were to undertake this kind of research today I’d call my consulting business “People & Power Prospect Research”, and I would profile wealth and philanthropic profiles of prospective donors for climate activist organizations.

Fundraising is more than soliciting high net worth individuals. Non profits and social enterprises alike sustain themselves through government subsidiaries, small individual donations, grants, creative annual appeals and campaigns, along with charitable foundations too.

Aside fundraising prospect research, I’ve developed other ideas for new ventures.

A few months ago I was intent on producing a book for small ticket fundraising. I was calling the booklet either  “Trump Tweets & Truths” or “Donald Trump’s Greatest Hits”. It would be a compilation of Trumpy’s most troubling, disturbing and idiotic tweets categorized by topic (healthcare, climate action, military, etc). Concise, fact-based Democratic policy positions would be provided as well to set the record straight.  It would be sold at rallies and protests, wherever climate activists congregate.  Caricatures of the orange man in various poses would be included. I shelved this idea after discussing it with a few people about the same time Congress  decided to finally start its impeachment inquiry.

Some twenty years ago while working for a niche multinational database firm I kept track of US businesses which were partially owned by Chinese (State-run) firms.  (The U.S. firms hid the fact they were partially owned by Chinese firms), and I thought it would be revealing to bring this to the public’s eye.  Later I learned the Boston Consulting Group tracked this information.

Years earlier in the 1980s, when my infant son was strapped in his car seat and we drove around town I wondered why there were no children’s music radio stations. How much I wish he could have listened to Raffi songs. Whether it was “Six Little Ducks” or “Down by the Bay” or “Baby Beluga”. (Visit www.metrolyrics.comto look up your favorite Raffi songs and lyrics).  This idea was born before the rise of CDs and satellite radio. Still I don’t think there is a children’s radio program on Sirius radio.  Why not? Does anybody know?

Those days listening to Raffi are now replaced with learning surprising facts about sea level rise. Did you know that by 2050, sea level rise is forecast to be 1-2 feet higher?  For every one foot of sea level rise, shoreline will move inland by 300 feet!  That means cities like Washington, DC, Sacramento, CA, Hartford, CT and London (UK) will be fully exposed according to sea level rise expert John Englander


Published by Richard Halpern

Retired (but busy) after a lengthy career in business marketing, communications and research. Worked at four start-ups and one turnaround. Now volunteer doing prospect research for a climate activity and social advocacy non profit, amongst other things.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: