This resource section is devoted to environmental advocacy. There are no suggestions here about how to reduce your environmental impact as an individual, instead I have selected resources about how to engage in collective political action. If you have a suggestion for a resource, please let me know through the Contacts page!
Actions You Can Take
- Encourage students to sign the petition, create campus activities and apply for the climate advocacy fellowship program at theclimatesolution.com.
- Join an advocacy organization such as Citizens’ Climate Lobby (see list below).
- Get involved with crucial state energy policies (see SEIA.org below).
- Teach your students about environmental policy and the policy making process (see HEASC below)
- Help students get registered to vote.
- Organize students to visit their member of Congress and talk to them about issues they care about.
- Get endorsements from your faculty, President, and community leaders citizensclimatelobby.org/leaders
- Write letters to the editor of your local newspaper.
- Write/call your members of Congress about issues you care about.
- Invite speakers to talk about policy issues.
- Invite activists to talk about their work.
Avner, Marcia, Josh Wise, Jeff Narabrook et al. The Lobbying and Advocacy Handbook for Nonprofit Organizations. Fieldstone Alliance (July 23, 2013).
Clark, Susan. The Policy Process: A Practical Guide for Natural Resources Professionals. Yale University Press (March 11, 2002).
Daly, John. Advocacy: Championing Ideas and Influencing Others. Yale University Press; (August 30, 2011).
Gallapher, Nora and Lisa Myers (Editors). Patagonia Tools for Grassroots Activists: Best Practices for Success in the Environmental Movement. Patagonia (February 9, 2016).
Han, Hahrie. How Organizations Develop Activists: Civic Associations and Leadership in the 21st Century. Oxford University Press; (June 30, 2014).
Klein, Naomi. This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate. Simon & Schuster; (August 4, 2015).
Kotter, John. Leading Change. Harvard Business Review Press; (October 23, 2012).
Kush, Christopher. The One-Hour Activist: The 15 Most Powerful Actions You Can Take to Fight for the Issues and Candidates You Care About. (December 10, 2007).
Lappe, Frances Moore. Ecomind: Changing the Way We Think to Create the World We Want. Nation Books (April 23, 2013).
Segal, Jerome. Graceful Simplicity. Toward a Philosophy and Politics of Simple Living. Henry Holt & Company; (February 1999).
Vaughn, Jacqueline. Environmental Politics: Domestic and Global Dimensions. Wadsworth Publishing; (January 1, 2011).
Wolinsky-Nahmias, Yael. (Editor). Changing Climate Politics; U.S. Policies and Civic Action. CQ Press. (March 18, 2014).
Donner, Simon D. “Finding Your Place on the Science – Advocacy Continuum: An Editorial Essay.” Climatic Change 124.1-2 (2014): 1-8. Web.
Englin, Shayna. “Closing the Environmental Advocacy Gap.” Climate Access. 9 Nov. 2012. Web.
Fang, Clara. “Why Higher Education Should Engage in Climate Advocacy.” Residence on Earth. 19 Apr. 2016. Web. <>.
Fenton Communications. “Now Hear This: The 9 Laws of Successful Advocacy Communications.” 2009. Climate Web. Web.
Goodstein, Eban. “Education or Advocacy? Engaging a Hotter World.” Inside Higher Ed. 20 Jan. 2009. Web.
Kanter, Martha, and Carol Geary Schneider. “Civic Learning and Engagement.” Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning. Jan. 2013. Web.
Maniates, Michael F. “Individualization: Plant a Tree, Buy a Bike, Save the World?” Global Environmental Politics 1.3 (2001): 31-52. Web.
National Task Force on Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement. “A Crucible Moment: College Learning & Democracy’s Future.” Association of American Colleges and Universities., Washington, DC. 1 Jan. 2012.
Nisbet, Matthew C. “A New Model for Climate Advocacy.” Ensia.com. 26 Nov. 2013. Web. Pragmatism and compromise are needed to break down climate change into smaller, interconnected problems, where progress can actually be achieved.
Spratt, David. “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life: Bright-siding Climate Advocacy and Its Consequences.” Climate Code Red. Apr. 2012. Web.
Michigan Publishing. “Academic Engagement in Public and Political Discourse: Proceedings of the Michigan Meeting, May 2015.” 1 Nov. 2015. Web.
U.S. Department of Education, Office of the Under Secretary and Office of Postsecondary Education. “Advancing Civic Learning and Engagement in Democracy: A Road Map and Call to Action.” Jan. 2012. Web.
Williams, Anthony D., ed. “Advocacy Networks: How Internet-enabled Activism Is Revolutionizing Social Change.” Global Solution Networks, 2014. Web.
350 is building a global grassroots climate movement that can hold our leaders accountable to the realities of science and the principles of justice. That movement is rising from the bottom up all over the world, and is uniting to create the solutions that will ensure a better future for all. Our online campaigns, grassroots organizing, and mass public actions bring together a global network active in over 188 countries.
Citizen’s Climate Lobby
Citizens’ Climate Lobby is a non-profit, non-partisan, grassroots advocacy organization focused on national policies to address climate change. We empower citizens in building political will for a livable world.
Citizen’s Climate Lobby has created resources and live instructor led training on topics related to creating the political will for a livable world. Sessions include lobbying, media, outreach, climate science and climate policy.
In collaboration with Citizen’s Climate Lobby and Years of Living Dangerously (the documentary series), this organizes engages students in advocacy for carbon pricing policies.
Climate Action Network
The Climate Action Network (CAN) is a worldwide network of over 1100 Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in more than 120 countries, working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels.
Earth Deeds provides easy to use online tools to enable all of us to acknowledge our environmental impacts and support meaningful projects that build local community resilience. We call this new system onsetting. Rather than “neutralizing” our environmental “sins” through carbon offsetting, Earth Deeds says, “Let’s be grateful for all that fossil fuels have enabled; let’s also recognize the environmental costs of burning these fuels; and let’s ‘pay it forward’ in ways that can help heal our world.”
Greenpeace is the leading independent campaigning organization that uses peaceful protest and creative communication to expose global environmental problems and to promote solutions that are essential to a green and peaceful future.
Higher Education Associations Sustainability Consortium
HEASC, in collaboration with an informal network of over 40 academic societies, has created “Stop Gooming and Glooming Students: Engage Them in Solutions for Climate Change.” Access free curricular and student life materials to engage students in larger scale solutions, including civic engagement in federal and state policies. Please contact Debra Rowe DGROWE@oaklandcc.edu for more information.
Interfaith Power and Light
The mission of Interfaith Power & Light is to be faithful stewards of Creation by responding to global warming through the promotion of energy conservation, energy efficiency, and renewable energy. This campaign intends to protect the earth’s ecosystems, safeguard the health of all Creation, and ensure sufficient, sustainable energy for all.
League of Conservation Voters
LCV works to turn environmental values into national, state and local priorities. LCV, in collaboration with our state LCV partners, advocates for sound environmental laws and policies, holds elected officials accountable for their votes and actions, and elects pro-environment candidates who will champion our priority issues.
Moveon.org is the largest independent, progressive, digitally-connected organizing group in the United States. Launched in 1998, MoveOn pioneered online organizing and advocacy techniques that have become standard in politics, nonprofits, and industry in the U.S. and worldwide. We combine rapid-response political campaigning with deep strategic analysis, rigorous data science and testing, and a culture of grassroots member listening and participation that allows us to consistently and quickly identify opportunities for progressive change–and mobilize millions of members to seize them.
National Center for Science and Civic Engagement
CSCE is a national organization that supports a community of teachers and learners. Through grant funding, we help educators in and outside the classroom make connections between the content they teach and real world issues of civic importance.
Natural Resources Defense Council
NRDC combines the power of more than two million members and online activists with the expertise of some 500 lawyers, scientists, and policy advocates to secure the rights of all people to clean air, clean water, and healthy communities. We’ve been doing it since 1970, with a powerful track record of success.
Bard Center for Environmental Policy
The Center offers innovative graduate programs and community programs in environmental policy or climate science and policy. The emphasis on science-based policy enables students to progress from knowledge of the issues to the formulation of feasible, effective solutions.
Rachel Carson Council Campus Network
A new, growing national campus network with 31 colleges and universities that links professors, students, staff and administrators to a national network of news, information, resources and action items. The RCC is engaged in direct advocacy in Washington and several state capitals. For information contact Zoe Ackerman, Associate Program Director and Campus Coordinator, RCC at firstname.lastname@example.org
In January 2012 The Solar Energy Industries Association officially merged with the Solar Alliance, an advocacy organization working to establish solar policies at the state level. SEIA supports pro-solar policies at both the state and federal level, presenting a unified solar industry voice in all advocacy efforts.
Sustainability Improves Student Learning
SISL is a select group of academic associations and disciplinary societies working together to increase students’ learning in undergraduate courses, and better prepare students for the 21st-century “Big Questions” that relate to real-world challenges such as energy, air and water quality, and climate change.
Union of Concerned Scientists
The Union of Concerned Scientists puts rigorous, independent science to work to solve our planet’s most pressing problems. Joining with citizens across the country, we combine technical analysis and effective advocacy to create innovative, practical solutions for a healthy, safe and sustainable future.