Climate Conversations

The Purpose

These conversations are designed to permit the NKU community to discuss climate change in a respectful way. We're interested in fact-based conversations, to shine a light on your

  • concerns,
  • questions,
  • solutions,
  • strategies,
  • analysis,
  • fears,

and any other facets of climate change. These short meetings are meant to prime the pump. We hope that conversations will continue beyond these "Climate Conversations". Thanks to Rosie Santos (of the Center for Environmental Education) and Madhura Kulkarni (of the Center for Integrative Natural Science and Mathematics (CINSAM)) for helping to initiate the project.

The Conversation

The conversation will be moderated by one person, who's job it is to make sure that the meeting runs in order, and with civility.

Each meeting will begin with consent to the rules. Only those who agree to the rules may participate; others will be asked to leave.

Following the agreement to the rules, the meeting will begin with a screen of recent climate-related news stories, just to prime the pump. Anyone else participating may add items to a board at the front.

Then the conversation begins….

The Rules

Participants agree to abide by the following rules:

  1. Silence cell phones.
  2. One mic ("la parole") — only one person speaks at a timeno side conversations.
  3. Share the mic (if you've been talking a lot, back off; if you've said nothing, but would like to, ask for the mic).
  4. Ask questions by raising your hand, not by interrupting: the speaker may choose to address questions, or ignore them — it's speaker's choice. But back-and-forth will be only between speaker and questioner — others who wish to join the conversation must raise their hands.
  5. Silent "jargon finger" (when you hear a word that you don't know, put up a hooked finger).
  6. Silent "louder signal" (an "L" when you can't hear).
  7. In a large group, the one with "la parole" should repeat a question from the audience.
  8. "Three minutes" — one person has the floor for three minutes; although the speaker may request an extension, if another participant is in line to speak, then the mic passes to that person.
  9. "Moderator as ref" — the moderator is "the referee", who applies these rules. Anyone who refuses to abide by the rules will be asked to leave: you can get a red card!
  10. Take care of yourself (feel free to get up to go to the bathroom, to get a drink of water, to cool off).
  11. Use the "bike rack" (put things that are going to lead the meeting astray on a board, for consideration outside of the current meeting).

The moderator will take notes (or designate another to do so), and assure that items on the "bike rack" are noted for the website and discussion later.


We're interested in outcomes — we hope that you'll learn from these conversations. We're happy to share links, reflections, etc. on this site, in response to each meeting. Feel free to pass along your thoughts, a commentary, a perspective, a graph, etc. We'll populate the following set of links to each conversation, in succession as each occurs.

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