National Park Service Rangers at Ocean Beach

Driving Social Norms in the San Francisco Bay Area


Climate education’s end goal is not just to expand climate change knowledge. It is to instill in individuals the value of safeguarding the environment, people, animals, and places we care about from climate change. Many individuals are uncertain of what to do about it or feel overwhelmed and hopeless. Environmental educators can help combat this by providing their audiences with solutions, particularly community level actions.

Recent studies show climate literacy is unrelated to public acceptance of human-caused climate change. Unlike other scientific fields, climate change is interpreted through different values systems, political ideologies, and beliefs in our natural systems. Through BayCLIC’s climate action campaign, we’ll be leveraging the environmental educators in our network for greater impact. These educators are skilled and seasoned communicators who will offer solutions to climate change that emphasize universal social values like community well-being, health, and responsible management.

In winter of 2017, we’ll be unveiling our first climate action campaign, which will focus on shifting transportation norms in the San Francisco Bay Area. Participating BayCLIC organizations will be sharing the same transportation related messages under one unified branding campaign.

Personal automobile use accounts for the greatest greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) in the Bay Area (28%). Oil refineries, whose largest product is automotive fuel, contribute to another 17% of regional GHGs. In order to tackle climate change head on, we will need to address how we currently get around. Transportation and fuel shift will be challenging, but the Bay Area is known for testing new ideas and we’re excited to see this unfold.

While BayCLIC works on designing its climate action campaign, we encouarge educators not to wait and to start empowering their audiences to promote more alternative transportation options in the Bay Area. Here are some great organizations they can get involved with that are working on that front.

CA Bike Coalition. There are a number of opportunities to volunteer or join this group, dedicated to making biking a safer and more convenient mode of transportation. To find a local Bike Coalition near you, check out this page.

SPUR. Interested individuals can follow this premier planning organization on their transportation policy recommendations for the Bay.

TransForm. For those passionate about transportation equity related legislation in the region, this is the organization to follow.

Bay Area Air Quality Management District. For those interested in learning more about electric vehicles (EVs), this robust resource list covers topics from rebate eligibility to organizations supporting EV adoption.