CALL TO ACTION! Write a Letter to the Editor of Your Local Paper About Climate Change

Saturday March 13, 2021

Please consider spending 15 to 30 minutes writing a letter to the editor of your local paper about climate change. The passage of the Covid-19 stimulus bill offers an excellent hook for letters to the editor about the need for Congress to address climate change.

Below is a bare-bones sample letter you might use as inspiration and we’ve included some tips from the letter-writing team on how you can submit your letter.

Please join RPCV4EA’s monthly Letter to the Editor (LTE) Writing Group for support writing a LTE or peer review of your LTE. Meetings are held the fourth Tuesday of every month at 8:00pm EST/ 7:00pm CT / 5:00 pm PST. For more information and to get the registration link visit the RPCV4EA calendar of events.

 

Sample Letter

Re: headline of article, date, page. With the successful passage of the Covid-19 stimulus package, coupled with vaccinations increasing nationwide and hospitalizations declining, now is the critical time for the president and Congress to begin to seek bipartisan solutions to climate change — an existential threat that poses even more harm to the planet than the pandemic.  As a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer who served in (country) in (years), I am alarmed at the increasing threat of climate change not only on the people I served in (country) but also here at home in (community where RPCV lives.)

In 2020, we saw the impact of climate change throughout the United States with a record-setting number of hurricanes, wildfires, and dangerously hot days that threatened the lives of millions of Americans. According to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the last seven years were the seven hottest years on record, going back to the 1880s.

We must do all we can to reduce our own carbon footprint, but we must also use our voices as citizens.  That’s why I am calling on (name your Senators or local member of Congress) to make finding bi-partisan solutions to climate change a top priority this year.

 

Five Tips on Placing Your Letter

1. Find the local newspaper you will write to: To learn what is required for letters to the editor, Google the following: “(Name of the paper) letters to the editor criteria.” How many words do they allow, do they want you to include your name, address, phone number and email, and how do you submit the letter (i.e., by copying and pasting the letter into a form on their website or sending via email)?

2. Are you writing a daily or weekly newspaper? a) If you are writing to a daily newspaper, find an article or editorial that provides an opportunity to write about climate change.  (Some newspapers require a subscription to see articles.  You can often get a one-month subscription for 99 cents.  Spring for it.) b) If you are writing to a smaller weekly newspaper, write in a way that would be of interest to local readers.

3. How do other letters start? Read a few letters to the editor in the newspaper you are targeting to see how they begin and the general tone.

 

4. Write your letter: Focus on the values or experiences that move you to care about taking action on climate change.  Use a) the newspaper’s guidelines, b) the sample letter above, c) your experience as a Peace Corp volunteer, and d) if writing a daily newspaper, start by making reference to a recent article or editorial in the newspaper.

 

5. After you submit your letter, share it with us:  Send us a copy of your letter to [email protected].

 

Please feel free to reach out to Dylan Hinson, [email protected], with any questions about the Letters to The Editor events.

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