Cooling Café uses conversation to promote change |

Cooling Café uses conversation to promote change

Concerned citizens gathered recently for the first community Global Cooling Café in hopes of raising awareness and action for climate change.

“It’s a method where people come together to cross-pollinate ideas,” said Reinette Senum, one of the Global Cooling Café organizers and forces behind the Alliance for a Post Petroleum Economy. “The formation of the café allows us to see a common thread in the community. It helps to bring to the surface certain ideas or common thoughts that the community would like to pursue or like to take toward climate change.”

Senum is one of a large team of local citizens working with nonprofits who hopes to insight climate change solutions through personal and collaborative actions.

“We’re using the conversation model and the particular one we’re using is the world café,” said Dr. Emmett Miller, one of the past facilitators of the World Cafés. “What we’re looking at are some of the things we all have in common, and one of those is the beautiful place we live in. Nevada County has chosen to be a cool community model to other communities. Each one of us can take responsibility for the change taking in the atmosphere. When you have a group of people who really care about something, their creativity is quite remarkable.”

The café has generated much interest due to the special concepts driving it.

“The process of the conversation café that moves me the most is that, by the end of the evening, you have gone so much deeper into your thinking,” participant Georgia Dowl shared. “It’s fascinating to watch how ideas become bigger and greater through this creative process. You dialogue with four/five different people. The process of people intermingling different offerings at these tables both in writing and speaking is what keeps the conversation going deeper. In this process, everybody gets to participate, including the quiet people who usually are not heard.”

While the first Cooling Café’s main focus was on the community’s feelings and ideas towards global warming and other environmental issues, future cafés will serve to fine tune the group’s action proposals.

“The idea of this next café is clearly to allow more time to focus on action ideas and implementation,” Connie Parsons, the chair for the Global Cooling Café team said. “One reason we are doing several cafés is because this is experimental and we want time to improve effectiveness. Out of the first café, participants initiated 19 collaborative actions to create climate change solutions in our community.”

Parsons believes as more people become involved and interested in the grassroots endeavor of the Global Cooling Cafés, results in the fight against global warming will be seen.

“Global cooling starts here,” Parsons voiced. “Even President Bush has expressed a real concern about the realities of climate change. There is a growing the conviction that all of us need to start making different choices. But in order to make real behavioral change, you need education, support and community. We can each make an individual difference and it adds up person by person, community by community, leader by leader.”

For more information on the Global Cooling Cafés and the upcoming events, e-mail or call 470-8642.


To contact Staff Writer Lindsey Croft, e-mail or call 477-4247.

June 16: Movies in the Meadow, 8:30 p.m. at Pioneer Park.

July 17: Café, 6-9:30 p.m. Methodist Church 433 Broad St., Nevada City.

July 21: Movies in the Meadow, 8:30 p.m. at Pioneer Park.

Aug. 18-19: Power Palooza at Miner’s Foundry.

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