Think Energy

Climate Communication: Motivating Change with Re.Climate

Oct 9, 2023

What role do communicators play in motivating change? Specifically, how can they move their audiences to take action against climate change? In thinkenergy episode 122, we delve into the world of climate communication with Amber Bennett, Deputy Director of Re.Climate. Explore the driving forces, opportunities, and challenges of inspiring climate action—from bridging research to practise to empowering change. Listen in for an insightful conversation on shaping a sustainable future.

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Dan Seguin  00:06

This is ThinkEnergy, the podcast that helps you better understand the fast changing world of energy through conversations with game changers, industry leaders, and influencers. So join me, Dan Seguin, as I explore both traditional and unconventional facets of the energy industry. Hey, everyone, welcome back. Did you scroll through the news this morning? How many of those articles that you skim covered a topic related to climate change? I guess it was probably a few. It seems. Every couple of weeks there's a new story dominating the headlines about forest fires, hurricanes, floods, heatwaves, and more, both here in Canada and abroad. We are seeing firsthand the effects of climate change and As consumers, we are receiving information about it. Everywhere we look. Have you ever thought about how you are being communicated to? How is climate change presented? What wording was used? And why? And are their calls to action? How does it make you feel? think not only about news articles you read, but also about documentaries, podcasts, Hollywood movies, right down to your everyday life. Think about the newsletter you receive from your municipality. The assembly instruction on the last piece of furniture you purchase, or this section on your favorite clothing brand, website about their sustainable practice, communications surrounding climate change are pretty much everywhere and the need to be. In June of 2021, the Canadian government introduced the Canadian net zero emission Accountability Act, which puts into legislation Canada's commitment to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. Different companies across the country are making their commitment, much like we did in 2022, when we committed to leading the way to a Smart Energy Future by becoming net zero by 2030. The push on to stop the damaging pollution emitted into the environment on a daily basis, namely caused by burning fossil fuels. Scientists are urging that this is crunch time. So if you haven't already, now is the time to hone in on how and what you are communicating to your customers. So here is today's big question. What role do communicators play in motivating change within their audiences to take action against climate change? Our guest today is Amber Bennett, Deputy Director of Re Climate, Canada's first climate communications and Engagement Center. This new organization launched in 2022 brings together Canada's leading climate communication academics and practitioners, and aims to help communicators create strategies that inspire the public to support climate action. Amber is one of Canada's top climate communication strategists and capacity builder who works with groups across the country bridging gaps between research and practice. She led the groundbreaking Alberta narrative project and supported much of the foundational work to pilot and build reclaim it. Amber, thank you for joining us today.

Amber Bennett  03:54

Thank you for having me.

Dan Seguin  03:56

Amber, maybe you can start by telling us a bit about yourself and Re Climate How did you get into climate communications? How did Re Climate come to be and what does it aim to achieve?

Amber Bennett  04:09

Okay, I'll try to hold all of those questions at once. Well, I am based in Calgary, Alberta, which may seem like an unlikely place for some for the executive director of a Canadian organization or Canadian center focused on climate communications and engagement at Carleton University. But that's where I live with my family. And what to say? Yeah, I mean, I think I've been circling around climate communications for a very, very long time. You know, the the mind has a funny way of making sense of things in retrospect, but I started with a Bachelor of Science and then I moved on to a public relations degree and then I worked with the mayor of Calgary on the one of the I forget which numbered cop, but it was a Copenhagen. And I think that was really the first time I began to think about what, what is climate change and had a certain kind of exposure to the, to the, you know what the challenge was and what not. And when I saw I kind of went on, and I did a master's degree. And it was when I had needed to choose a topic for my master's degree when there was the catastrophic flooding here in Calgary. And there is this, like, amazing paradox where the, you know, Calgary Stampede, which is the epitome, I would say, of the, you know, kind of old boys club. And when that happened, when the floods happened, their motto was come hell or high water come hell or high water, they were going to, you know, produce the show. And at the same time, one of the readings I was doing as a part of my master's program was also titled come hell or high water. And it was really about the science of climate change, and why it is making it so difficult. Why is it so difficult for humans to kind of wrap our heads around it. So fast forward, I completed a master's, and then did a series of really interesting projects. I did some work with a group out of the UK called Climate outreach, which is focused on climate communications and engagement as well. And then started working with a group of people here in Canada to set up a similar center or similar organization that would focus on supporting climate communicators, helping to kind of bring together the research that was happening, as well as the practice. And so that's really why Re Climate it is set up to do, we're really dedicated towards advancing the practice of climate communications and engagement through research, training, offering resources, pulling resources together, strategy, and developing strategy with other types of practitioners, as well as convening networks of both scholars, as well as those people who are kind of out there in the real world doing campaigning and advocacy work and trying to, you know, communicate with citizens and whatnot. So, that's kind of where we're at.

Dan Seguin  07:34

Now, Amber, it sounds like Re Climate, is a very diversified organization that brings together experts in social science, Public Affairs, and science. What kind of professionals work together in this environment? And what does it each bring to the table?

Amber Bennett  07:55

Love this question. So Re Climate brings together I think I've said it research and practice. And so you have those practitioners who may be doing public engagement campaigns, they may be working for utilities, they may be working in local governments or other kinds of government, they might also be working in advocacy organizations. And so they often don't have the time, or I would argue the luxury of going into, you know, latest academic journals, or even, you know, kind of other thought leaders who are publishing in the field. Why? Because they're busy, they're doing the work. And so, you know, that kind of takes a lot of time to kind of go in and look at the research, track it down, make sense of it? They're also, I would argue, very few who have the time to do an evaluation, like after they've done something, what did we learn from it? You know, What, did we make a difference? You know, what kind of impact are we having, and similarly, just getting together with other folks, right, and talking about it and sharing what they're learning. So that's kind of on the practitioner's side. And so, you know, when we say we bring or convene networks of people together, we're really trying to do that, you know, we're trying to provide resources, synthesize, you know, research, both, perhaps, you know, it's public polling, or maybe it's social science, you know, what's happening in in, that's relevant, but also bringing people together to share with each other and learn with each other. So that's kind of that practitioner side. And, you know, there's also, I would say, sometimes a culture where people feel like they're competing with each other, you know, certainly within the charitable sector. So kind of, I think, for those folks who are coming in, who are kind of in the field, having that support and someone who's doing In the work on their behalf to kind of make sense of synthesize, pull it in together like yours, your five tips here, the things you need to do. That's extremely helpful. And then on the flip side, I think for researchers, you know, they're, they're kind of passionate, there's a reason why they're there thinking or trying to understand, you know, how to better engage people, or what's the right framing, or what are the values or whatever it is, because they're passionate about it. So by being able to kind of bridge from the practitioner world into a more academic or into a research field, we're able to just give people real world challenges. It's like, here's why practitioners are actually struggling with, you're an expert in this, please talk to us about it, or please, you know, this is the kind of information that they need. So, you know, kind of the practitioners, I would say, Bring the complexity of the real world, right, that we're dealing with real people, resource constraints, you know, various kinds of issues and whatnot, whereas researchers bring the kind of precision of being able to look at something with a whole body of understanding behind them to be able to kind of see, well, here's what may be operating within this situation, here's what we know about it. And here are some other kinds of interventions or approaches that we might be able to take. I don't know if that exactly answers your question. Maybe the scientists part, I would say they bring the public trust. Right. So whenever we're polling, you know, consistently, scientists come up on top as having high levels of public trust on climate and energy transition. And so I think that they bring that kind of authenticity. And, you know, they're not there, they're often unpolitical, right? They're not seem to be benefiting, you know, personally from talking about it. So they're really effective messengers.

Dan Seguin  11:57

Wondering if you can share some insight into what the average Canadian's knowledge on climate change is? How much do they know about the main causes and the path forward?

Amber Bennett  12:14

Well, I would say that Canadians probably know a lot about climate change. But what we measure, it's a little bit different. So when, and I would encourage folks to take a look at some of the reports that we have published on The one that I'm, you know, I kind of go back to was published this year, or maybe it was last year. But within these reports, we basically look across 65, or more, either private or publicly available surveys, or public polls or whatnot, and we kind of do it a roll up of okay, so it's not just one survey that has said, this is multiple surveys that are showing kind of trends and themes in in where the Canadian beliefs or attitudes or or mindsets are. So when you do that, and when we looked across, you know, 65, or so what you can see is, is that, even though you have the majority of Canadians that would say yes, climate change is real, and it is happening, almost half of them attribute both natural and manmade causes, you know, attribute the cause of climate change due to natural causes as well as as manmade. And so why is that important, is because when we get into the conversations around solutions, then without the kind of foundational understanding that burning fossil fuels creates pollution, which creates a heat trapping blanket, which is heating our planet, and causing all of these extreme weather events and natural disasters that we're seeing. Without that kind of clear understanding that burning fossil fuels is the cause of climate change. And when you get into the solutions, and what people actually have to do about it, the conversations a bit more, there's a lot of confusion, or there's a lot of room for confusion, which is kind of what we're seeing and I can talk a little bit more about that. So you know, I spend a lot of time in focus groups, and this kind of conversation comes up. So when we talk about solutions in the path forward, you talk about climate change, and you start to have discussions around what you are doing, you know, recycling will often come up, plastics will often come up. There's a whole kind of suite of things that people are doing, but very few people are able to name a particular policy or real intervention that you know, that will address some of the root causes. And we people on this podcast may not be like, Hey, why really. But you know, there are a lot of different people and for many climate change, even though they may be living within the impacts are the, you know, experiencing in their daily lives, they have many other kinds of concerns and priorities that are happening at the same time. So what I would say is that Canadians believe that climate change is happening, there is at least half that are uncertain, or would attribute it to both natural causes, and manmade causes. This kind of understanding of burning fossil fuels, the trapping blanket, you know, that's not well understood by many. And so they're kind of subsequently stopping burning fossil fuels, as a path forward isn't clear, as it could be, or, or should be at this point in time. And maybe the other thing I if you, if you'll let me, the other thing I would say is, is that, you know, Canadians consistently report, when you ask them very high levels of concern about climate change, right? Most people can see forest fires, you know, that's how we are making sense of what climate changes. It is through these kinds of experiences, either directly, or our experiences of seeing, you know, extreme weather and natural disasters. So people are expressing very high levels of concern. But if you ask, unprompted, what are you know, what are the issues that you're most concerned about? It often will address climate change as mentioned Much, much farther down on the list. Right. So, affordability and access to health care, cost of living, housing, there are many other issues that people are faced with and dealing with in their day to day lives.

Dan Seguin  17:18

Okay, see the term movable middle mentioned in reports and on the reclaimed site, what is the movable middle? And why is it so important?

Amber Bennett  17:34

Great question. And I feel compelled to say that I think that term movable metal is used differently by different people. I think within the context of, you know, the work that we do, it kind of comes out of, you know, some of the themes that I was talking about in the last in in the last question or last answer. It's this idea that, you know, people are kind of undecided. Or they're conflicted about an issue. So they could move either one way or the other, but they're not at the moment. oppositional? Right. So if you think about, you know, a broader population, there is a segment, you know, of Canadians, whose identities are really built around the idea that they don't believe in climate change. They're not going to support, you know, climate action and whatnot. There's also on the other side, a whole group of Canadians whose identity is built around me. I'm a climate activist, and I'm a climate advocate. And you know, and I'm an environmentalist, and so they're on the other side, but most of us just kind of live in the middle. Some are more well informed than others. But for the most part, people are concerned, right in the middle. They have they, you know, when they ask, yes, we want the government to act, we are highly supportive of it. But when it comes down to it, it's this tension around the fact that because they may not be well informed, or not thinking about this, they have many competing priorities. You're kind of undecided, or sometimes they're just conflicted about an issue. Right? Because on the one hand, as an example, yeah, I think we absolutely need renewable energy. We need lots of, you know, solar panels, I just don't want them in my house, or we need lots of, you know, solar, renewable solar farms. I just don't want them all over the landscape that I cherish from my childhood. So there are many things that you know are underneath that are operating underneath for people that kind of create some conflict for them. So people, when we talk About the movable metal, really, I think what's important is to acknowledge that most people are concerned. They want when they support action, but they're undecided, potentially about one particular aspect or issue of it. Or there's some other kind of thing that's happening for them that's creating a conflict. Or they're kind of uninformed. So, you know, I think that you know, why an example? Or rather, I'll back up that uninformed piece is particularly important right now, as we see more and more kinds of organized misinformation and disinformation. Right. So as an example, when I'm in focus groups, I can predict with very, you know, a lot of certainty, what are some of the kinds of key narratives that are coming to the surface where people are kind of undecided? One of them might be, well, EV batteries are actually worse, you know, for the environment than, you know, driving a car, or there's no way that we're going to be able to electrify everything the grids can't support. Or it may be that solar panels actually create more emissions when you produce them than they save in their lifetime. So these kinds of things that are very dominant are kind of recurring pieces of information. And when people who are not thinking about this a lot or deeply, as much as maybe you were, I are people who are listening to this. So when people encounter these, this kind of information or confusion about what are the actual solutions? They really don't know what to think. Right? So like a third of us sit within that category, right? If I actually don't know how to make sense of the information that I'm hearing, right, and I don't trust so much of it. Because I know that, you know, I know about misinformation, I know that I shouldn't be, you know, you know, trusting everything that I hear, etc. So that's kind of the deal with the movable middle, right? So they believe climate change is real and not climate deniers. They just may be conflicted or undecided, or just not, you know, as informed because they're not thinking about it on a daily basis.

Dan Seguin  22:32

Now Amber, why is it important for the average communicator, like those in the energy sector, for example, to better understand the strategy behind climate change communications?

Amber Bennett  22:45

Yeah, um, I think because climate change is a super wicked problem, and is really complicated. And maybe me rambling on for the past 20 minutes might give folks a sense of the things that, you know, we were trying to think about and grapple with all at the same time. And so I would say that, in other cases, although arguably, I would argue that information, probably doesn't work it in on any issue. But what we do know, is just giving people information, they're not, you know, people can't reason their way into kind of behavior change. So, you know, we live within systems. You know, we live within communities where, you know, we're surrounded by friends and family, we see ourselves as kind of certain types of people. There are all of these kinds of social needs and emotional needs that humans bring to the table, that climate change communications, and I would argue, probably any good communications needs to attend to. So this sense of belonging, right, so I belong to a community. Other people like me think and act this way, or I expect other people like me to think and act this way. Being able to understand even what the problem is can kind of create shared understanding so that people who are making decisions aren't making decisions that don't consider you that kind of shared understanding peace. People need a sense of efficacy, control in their lives, they need some agency, they just don't need someone making all these decisions on their behalf without any involvement. You know, people want to be good people. And to be able to ask questions and to challenge things that are going to impact their lives without being dismissed as a climate denier or shamed or whatnot. And people trust others for different reasons, right. So scientists are highly tuned lasts. politicians aren't big corporations aren't, right. But the ones who are often leading this conversation in public are big corporations and politicians. So all of those are the things that we need to attend to when we think about, you know, climate communications, and because it's such a complicated problem, and extends to so many aspects of our life. And to be fair, there's a lot of organized opposition and strategies to create polarization to create misinformation. There's a lot happening all at the same time.

Dan Seguin  25:43

Okay, let me ask you this, what effect does it have to all be on the same page?

Amber Bennett  25:51

I often give the analogy of an orchestra, right, where we all have the same song sheet, but we're all playing different instruments. And part of that is, you know, there is a role for the government in setting regulation. And there's a role for activists and advocates to be, you know, opening up new possibilities, holding governments and corporations to account. But actually, we also need businesses to be building out the products and the services and the and the things that we'll be using in our lives. And you need all of these different actors operating all at the same time. And, you know, to live, I guess, within an ecosystem, so I'm very skeptical of how one message is the efficacy of one message, I think that really what is helpful is if people are exposed to and have the ability to make meaning out of climate change, and out of energy transition through many different parts of their lives, and they actually have many different avenues to talk about it and to create, you know, a shared understanding of what they want for their future, or where we're going.

Dan Seguin  27:23

Let's move to electrification, and renewable energy. Cool? These are important pieces of the world's response to climate change. For those in the energy sector who have a direct relationship with electricity consumers, is there a certain messaging that we should be sharing with our audiences?

Amber Bennett  27:47

Such a great question. I might change, I might have a different thought while I'm making a cup of tea, you know, in a couple of hours from now. But I think that there is a very, goes back to the question that we talked about with literacy. And also goes back to some of the things I mentioned around people needing to have a sense of control in their lives. Right. So what we know from the research is that people's motivation to do something as a whole has a lot less to do with their perception of risk than it does there because their perception of their ability to act, and that that action will make a difference. What people really, I would say, based on all the things that I look at and read and whatnot, want is a place to act that makes sense. And that is relevant to their lives. So I think for folks who work in electrification, work in renewable energy, a part of what we need right now is both to fill in all of the pixels around, like, where are we going? What is this going to look like in my daily life? What are the things that make sense for me to do right now? And how are the things that I'm doing making a difference within, you know, the broader community that I know and love and want to make sure it's safe and prosperous? And all of those things? So I think what we're, what we need, in part, are those people who are responsible for infrastructure, for services, for that kind of daily life to start filling in the pixels of what is this going to mean? Because people get a little stuck on, like, blind faith. We're just going to hand it over and other people make decisions. People want to have a conversation. They want to have a space where they can kind of create a shared understanding, right, like a public imagination of like, where are we going? And what's it going to be like when we get there? And what is it going to need in my daily life? And so I think that there's that part, like, what is this going to look like? And then I think the other part is, what are you asking me to do? And how is it gonna make a difference? For me and for my community, Canadians are very generous, right? They're willing to do stuff, even if it doesn't benefit them, if they really believe that it'll, you know, benefit the broader community or collective good, they'll step up. But I would argue that we haven't done a really good job of giving people tangible, practical, relevant things that do make a difference. Neither have we done a great job of filling out the vision of what this is gonna look like, right? It's kind of a little bit like a cliff at the moment, right? We're all going to transition to renewables. And we haven't filled in, what is that actually going to look like? Right? Am I going to have a gas station at the end of my street? I don't know. What is it going to look like? That's what I would say is storytelling, right? What's the story of what this is? How is this going to happen? And what it will look like when we get there.

Dan Seguin  31:27

Okay, Amber. I'm not sure if you're aware, but Hydro Ottawa has committed to being net zero by 2030. Does this kind of messaging resonate with the general public? Are there best practices in how to communicate this type of message in order to influence and maybe even promote change in our community?

Amber Bennett  31:51

Well, I would say if we kind of got back to, you know, when we think about Canadians, right, so I think that you've got a little section of folks who sit on one end, who net zero by 2030 makes a lot of sense. They understand what Net Zero is, they understand why you've chosen 2030. They understand what getting to net zero, you know, even means, however, it's likely that a section of those people are kind of skeptical. Why? Because they've been hearing a lot of targets, and not a lot of action, you know, for many, many decades. And then, so that's, you know, that one group, right, we start to see kind of dropping, you know, belief that, you know, it's possible, or that's going to happen. And then you have that whole other group in the middle that I was talking about, where net zero means absolutely nothing. The word the language, net zero means, you know, I'm being a little bit brutal, but it's true, right, where net zero doesn't really mean a whole lot. And, and neither does 2030, or the importance of it. And I think, you know, I sitting in a boardroom or a meeting room the other day, and we're talking about targets, and it really struck me when the person on the other side said, we know that this is ambitious, and we know that it's impossible, but we have to say it, because it's actually what science requires of us. These are not a political target, it's actually a scientific target, that we need to reduce emissions by this amount by this period in time, even if we'll never get there. That's what science requires of us. So I think all that to say, targets, I think are very helpful for administrators, for policy makers, for business leaders, etc. To help, you know, turn the ship, and to help start getting the kind of resourcing and planning and whatnot in place. But for the general public, what they actually want is what we were just talking about, tell me where we're going and tell me what I have to do. And tell me why it makes a difference.

Dan Seguin  34:17

Cool, Amber. You were a co-author on an incredibly helpful document entitled, climate messaging that works, talking about energy transition and climate change in Canada, which outlines the concept of message triangle. For me, it was a simple takeaway that could be immediately implemented into any communications surrounding climate change. Could you share the coles note of the message triangle with our listeners?

Amber Bennett  34:50

I can, and I would love to. And I suspect that, you know, there'll be parts of what I'm about to say that begin to resonate with some of the past things that I've said or are connected to. So really in a triangle, the underlying principle is that we're trying to create a whole story or a whole narrative for people. And that has a lot to do with how human beings and how we have evolved and how we make sense of the world, we make sense of the world through narrative and through stories. And so when we just give people one piece of something, it doesn't satisfy the way that we have been trained. Since, you know, the, since the beginning to kind of make sense of the world. So what we want to do is we want to give people a challenge that has to either be overcome, or that we're at risk of losing something. So there's a challenge, there's a choice that we have right now that we need to make. And then there's an opportunity. And if we can hit each piece of that triangle, what we're doing is we're creating a whole story for people, which allows them to make sense of why are you taking my time? And why should I listen to you? So you know, as an example, when we talk about the challenge, you know, part of this is really, I think, being more clear about the cause of climate change. But also, what are some of the challenges that we're seeing, that are related to climate change within our communities? You know, I was listening to a CBC program the other day, and there's an entire community in Newfoundland, that's actually moving back from the water. And this is, you know, after the aftermath of Hurricane Fiona and whatnot. So, you know, some of the challenges that we're seeing, what's the challenge that we're trying to overcome? And ideally, I would, right size that at a community scale, right? So people feel overwhelmed when it's my personal individual problem. But if we can begin to talk about this as a community challenge, then people are much more likely to engage because they don't feel like doing it all on their own. Similarly, a choice, right, as communicators, if we're talking specifically to communicators, we often leave out the choice at the moment, what is the call to action? What are you actually trying? What are you asking someone to do? Is it voted a certain way? Is it a conversation? If it takes a particular action, we need something, there's some sort of choice, and there's some sort of action that has to create tension within this story, right? All good stories have a choice that has to be made by the main, you know, character, and then the opportunity. And I think, you know, part of what I've been talking about around, where are we going? What's it going to look like when we get there is that opportunity. So if we're talking about the challenge, is, you know, we're seeing increasing extreme weather, that's because of burning fossil fuels and pollution, the trapping blanket, our choice right now is we need to electrify and that means building infrastructure, the opportunity that we have is at a community scale, both for you know, ourselves and and for others. This kind of, you know, whatever might be the relevance of it right, we'll have a more dependable electricity supply. You know, if we're all in EVs, and we have backup, you know, batteries in our cars, when the power goes out, you know, you've got a little mini generator that you can draw on that gives you electricity, you know, through the storm or something, whatever it might look like. But that's the point is that we're trying to create a full picture for people. We want to talk about, what's the challenge? What's the choice? And what's the opportunity on the other side?

Dan Seguin  39:22

Now, climate change has been a hot topic for oh, God, at least 20 years now. Are there any challenges with keeping an audience engaged and interested for so long?

Amber Bennett  39:36

Yeah, there's actually a woman out of the States who wrote an article. Her name is Suzanne Moser. And it's something I'm going to botch the title but it's something like, you know, Climate Communications 20 Years Later: What Have We Really Learned? And I think that in fairness, I think we've learned a lot, right? I think most people understand that it's more complicated than just giving people a brochure at this point. And I think that in 20 years, we've done a much better job of crystallizing, what is it that we need to do? However, there's also been 20 years of misinformation, 20 years of broken plans and not, you know, unachieved targets etc. And I was chatting with a woman the other day and, and she's like, because I kind of feel like forest fires and floods and hurricanes are doing the job that we used to do, you know, which is creating alarm and concern and demonstrating like, this is real. And it's a big problem. So I think in 20 years, we've had 20 years more of all of that. But we haven't, you know, but, but rather, I would say the job now in this moment, is the pathway, right? And giving people that kind of those choices, that control, and that sense of agency, that they can do something about it. And we need to get on with the action part, right. So we can't leave people in just concern. Because our minds can only hold so much anxiety and concern at one time, amongst all of the other things that we're concerned and anxious about, you know, climate change is just, you know, even more dreadful, particularly, I think, for younger people. So we can't, you know, people can only stay there for so long before they start to kind of check out because, as I go back, you know, I kind of mentioned it in the beginning. It's like our sense of whether or not we or our sense of motivation, or motivation to act has a lot more to do with our sense of being able to do something about it, rather than the risk that it that it proposes or that it is, so yeah. So, I would say the challenges of keeping people interested or if you can't give them something to do, then, you know, at a certain point, you kind of have to just check out of the conversation until, you know, you get clear about what are you asking me, and I think that this kind of anxiety is a real problem. And so the road for them, this moment really requires us to get much more clear about where we're going in the pathway forward.

Dan Seguin  42:52

Okay, Amber, we always end our interviews with some rapid fire questions, and we've got a few for you. Are you ready?

Amber Bennett  43:00

Ready to go? Okay,

Dan Seguin  43:03

What are you reading right now?

Amber Bennett  43:05

Wine Witch on Fire by Natalie Maclean, I think.

Dan Seguin  43:09

Okay, now, what would you name your boat? If you had one, maybe you do. Maybe you don't.

Amber Bennett  43:17

I don't have one. And it would be a miracle if I ever have one. So I'm going to name it a Miracle.

Dan Seguin  43:24

Who is someone that you truly admire?

Amber Bennett  43:28

This is kind of really out of left field, but I'm gonna go with it. So during COVID, there was a woman named Trinny Woodall who used to do What Not To Wear on the BBC. It was like one of the original kinds of reality programs, like one of those. And, you know, I'd love to be more philosophical than this. But I admire her because her whole... a) she works so hard, but also she just wants to make women of a certain age or any woman just feel good. And I really just admire someone whose life and business and purpose is really just trying to make other people see the goodness in themselves or to feel better about themselves. So she's, and she's also for any one who's interested. I mean, a social media magician, like she's, she's magic in terms of what she did. She started during COVID and kind of as a comms person, like, Yeah, amazing. Kind of how she has set herself up as an influencer.

Dan Seguin  44:42

Okay, Amber, what is the closest thing to real magic that you've witnessed?

Amber Bennett  44:51

Magic? Yeah, this is hard. Okay, so just bear with me. Great start! This is not as rapid as you probably want. I'm moving houses. I bought a house. And there were two moments in like, one was do I put an offer in? Or do we put an offer in? And then there was another moment, kind of later on. And in both cases, I was about to say, I was going to pull back and say no, you know, I'm not going to go forward with it. And I kid you not, in that moment, the wind picked up. So in one case, I was outside and the wind picked up and got very, very strong where I was standing. So the first time you know, you can kind of blow it off. It's like, oh, yeah, okay, whatever. That was weird. But it happened twice. It happened a second time. And then the second time where I was, you know, kind of stuck. And, you know, wanting to retreat and I got a little, you know, scared about, you know, kind of taking the leap. And in that second time, the same thing happened, where the winds picked up, and they got a little bit stronger around me. And then they calmed down afterwards. And not in a like, oh, I kind of feel like no, it's kind of little, you know, it was very dramatic. And so anyways, I move houses tomorrow, so I'm gonna just put that out to magic. Not quite sure. It doesn't make a lot of logical sense. Why? Why did we do it? But we're there now.

Dan Seguin  46:26

Now, what has been the biggest challenge to you personally, since the pandemic began?

Amber Bennett  46:32

Yeah, I'm, like so many parents. And I would argue women in particular, the double bind of having to take care of kids as though I don't work. And work even though I don't have kids. And I think for a lot of parents that was the impossible situation and I don't feel that that's really gone away.

Dan Seguin  47:02

This next one I always enjoy. What have you been watching a lot more of on Netflix or TV lately? What's your favorite? In other words, you know, what's your favorite movie or TV show?

Amber Bennett  47:17

I love the Peaky Blinders. And I've gone back and I've watched certain episodes again, just because they're so delicious with the costumes and the characters and the whole thing. I'm, yeah, totally enthralled. Yeah, love it.  Okay.Now, lastly, what is exciting you about your industry right now. Um, I think that if anyone were to see my email inbox, they'd be very surprised at, you know, I think communion policy was the king for so long. And I think finally, we're at the point where we're beginning to understand that the public has to be on board, the public actually needs to have informed consent about so many of these choices. And we need a social mandate to ensure that climate action is the third rail, right? You know, if you're going to be a leader in this country, or business operating in this country, then you need to be a climate leader, and you need to be a climate business, it has to be fundamental to all of the decisions that you make, and how you and how you operate. Because science doesn't give us any other choice at this moment. So that's, so I think, the kind of realization that we can have all the technology and all the policy that we want, but if people aren't on board, then it's never going to happen. And so I get to work with very interesting people, unexpected from all walks of life, and you know, different sectors who are beginning to understand that, really, this is something we're going to work on until all of us and those beyond. For many generations, yeah.

Dan Seguin  49:12

Now, if our listeners want to learn more about you, Amber, or your organization, how can they connect?

Amber Bennett  49:18

Yeah, well, easiest is to go to our website, so Re.Climate, so that's And folks can sign up there if they want to, you know, make sure that they get more information on events, and we do lots of, you know, webinars and talks and we release reports and, and whatnot. So that's a great thing to do. And I'm on LinkedIn, and I'm always happy to connect with people on LinkedIn. So Amber Bennett, and I also share lots of things there. that I find interesting.

Dan Seguin  49:59

Well, Amber. This is it. We've reached the end of another episode of the thinkenergy podcast. Thank you so much for joining me today. I hope you had a lot of fun.

Amber Bennett  50:08

Yeah. Great questions. Great chat. And thank you.

Dan Seguin  50:14

Cheers. Thanks for tuning in for another episode of the thinkenergy podcast. Don't forget to subscribe and leave us a review wherever you're listening. And to find out more about today's guests or previous episodes, visit I hope you will join us again next time as we spark even more conversations about the energy of tomorrow.