Friday, March 30, 2007

Low Carbon Diet Challenge

Cool America

Empower Your Community to go on a Low Carbon Diet

Host a Global Warming Café workshop this spring and be part of a catalytic movement to seed the grassroots and mobilize the political will for change!

Dear friend,

Imagine for a moment that for the next three months, Americans came together to do something about global warming. Imagine small and large groups gathering in our places of worship, town halls and community centers, to speak their minds and hearts about the global crisis facing us, and commit to taking action to turn it around. Imagine them being given the tools they need to reduce their own carbon footprints and the strategies to empower their communities to do the same. Imagine all of this leading to a collective pledge of millions of pounds of carbon reduction – and a powerful call to our elected officials to create bold carbon reduction legislation.

Now imagine you are a part of it!

This spring promises to go down in history as the three months that America leapt into action on global warming. Between April 14 and July 7, 2007 a series of four major events have created the backdrop for an unprecedented response to the climate crisis that threatens our future.

April 14: Step It Up 2007’s “National Day of Climate Action” is organizing over a thousand local actions to send a message to Congress to cut carbon 80% by 2050.

April 22: Earth Day 2007’s “A Call for Action on Climate Change” is organizing thousands of events worldwide promoting education and advocacy for carbon reduction on all levels.

June 5: United Nations’ World Environment Day 2007’s: “Melting Ice: A Hot Topic” is a call to individuals and communities worldwide to seek solutions to climate change.

July 7: Al Gore’s Live Earth “Concerts for a Climate in Crisis” on all seven continents is reaching out to 2 billion people with the message that the future is in our hands. It is time to act.

Each of these major events has the potential to be catalytic all on its own. But imagine what could happen if they were all linked together. We did. The result is our Cool America Campaign. We’re inviting you to join us in setting the course for our future.

In partnership with Step It Up 2007’s “National Day of Climate Action,” and in celebration of Earth Day, World Environment Day, and Live Earth, Empowerment Institute invites you to put your community on a Low Carbon Diet by hosting a “Global Warming Café” between April 14th and July 7th.

Based on the successful World Café large-group dialogue format, the Global Warming Café is a 4-hour participatory workshop that anyone can host to empower their community to become part of the global warming solution. Its easy-to-implement design engages participants in a heartfelt conversation about global warming, and then invites them to take personal action to reduce their carbon footprint through the Low Carbon Diet program. For those who are inspired to take action beyond their own household, it also provides the tools to launch a “Cool Community Campaign” to mobilize their community to reduce its CO2 footprint 20% by 2010.

We’ve put together a Café Organizers’ Toolkit on our website, where you can find everything you need to make your Café hosting experience almost effortless: a Café leader’s script, Low Carbon Diet slide show, a customizable event flier and press release, and reports and media coverage from recent Cafés. We’ll also be hosting free “Cool Community Tele-trainings” on April 4th, May 2, May 29 and June 26, which will include training in hosting a Global Warming Café.

Our Cool America Campaign goal is 1,000 Global Warming Cafés between April 14th and July 7th. You are invited to host one on any day during that time period, but we’re encouraging as many people as possible to host their Café on or around one of the four big days: 4/14, 4/22, 6/5 or 7/7. This will help you to generate participation, and will draw more media coverage.

At the end of each Café, we’ll invite everyone who is attending to make a personal CO2 reduction pledge. We’ll collect the CO2 reduction pledges made at Cafe's around the country, and enter the pledge totals from each Café on our website. If we’re successful in hitting our goal of 1,000 Cafés, this should result in a collective pledge of over 250 million pounds of carbon reduction.

This pledge will then be delivered to our local, state and national elected officials with the message: “As Americans, we have collectively committed to reduce our individual carbon footprints by 250 million pounds. We’ve begun doing our part for the planet and we need your help to take this all the way. Be bold. Create ambitious carbon reduction legislation. Together we will change the world.”

Make this spring a turning point for climate action in your household, in your community, and with your elected representatives – host or participate in a Global Warming Café. Visit to learn more and register your Café. And please help us spread the word by passing this message on to your friends and colleagues. Be the solution!


David Gershon
President, Empowerment Institute
Author, Low Carbon Diet

P.S. For information on partnering with this campaign, contact:

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