chapter  17
Engaging Citizens to Address Community Climate Change Issues
WithDaniel Kahl, Amber Campbell
Pages 16

The effective development and implementation of local policy requires the support of the local citizenry. Finding ways to work toward common ground and engaged action on contentious issues can challenge policy makers and local officials. In many communities, issues related to climate can be especially contentious, yet any type of agreeable recommendations for action require the broad support of the community. Utilizing the community capitals framework (Flora, Flora, & Gasteyer, 2015) to conceptualize community, and components outlined for addressing wicked issues by Carcasson and Sprain (2016) to frame the chapter, the authors present examples of efforts to engage community members in dialogue to build agreement for action around community issues related to climate change. Drawing from focus groups held with rural and urban leaders and community members in Kansas, they report local perspectives, attitudes and understanding of issues related to climate science and change. They then explore the results of a deliberative forum held in Kansas including participants’ perspectives on how a changing climate impacts their lives and the best ways for the community to respond. Finally, they share insights for community-level action from dialogue-based approaches on environmental issues used in Kansas.