amaebi (amaebi) wrote,

Noble deeds, check

Today I went to make volunteer phone calls for and from Conservation Colorado, an affiliate of the League of Conservation Voters. I'd gone in to the new local office last week and signed stuff-- letters to the editor--, but as I had the chun man with me was not asked to make phone calls at that time. I was impressed by the letters I was asked to sign-- none of them got up my nose as an economist. And I was not only permitted but encouraged to add or alter, and added a bit on most. The basic script I followed today was similar, though it didn't involve making an argument-- I could happily say the things on the script, could alter them, and so on.*

I woke at 3:00 this morning after a tiring day yesterday, so I was kind of brain-dead, and wondered whether a deal brokered by Governor John Hickenlooper, whom I generally like but who imagines that drinking fracking fluid in public constitutes an argument, would affect the importance of the office and any calling. The deal takes anti-fracking and anti-anti-fracking propositions off the November ballot, among other things. But then I remembered that all the letters to the editor I signed were about carbon emissions and climate change.

The organizer said Yes, and that anti-fracking organizers for other, more partisan organizations were "back at step one." All those signatures to get the propositions on the ballot. I was surprised. It was that activism that got anti-anti-frackers to allow talk of costs and probabilistic costs at the table-- which required the even more basic step of acknowledging that there are costs not paid directly by fracking extractors. To me, it seems rather that activists have achieved some victory, and are now on a new game board.

Qua calling: I was told that volunteers usually do fifty calls, and immediately said that I wasn't the happiest caller, and would go as long as I could and no more. And it was actually not a gruelling experience at all. I didn't keep count of how many I did, but the ones on which I reached someone and had a conversation were brief and pleasant. (The only ones that made me feel oodgy were the ones where someone answered, my quarry wasn't available, and I was asked to leave a message, which we were not to do. After the second of those I realized that I would feel a lot better if I indicated I was calling for Conservation Colorado, especially when I was trying to reach an older woman. I don't want to be scawy. I am pretty sure I did at least forty calls.

* I was a little worried when the organizer said there was a survey combined with an invitation to volunteer or attend an event. But she was using the term "survey" casually: there was no pretense of gathering information in a statistically clean fashion. Back when I was working for unionization of Yale grad student employees my organizers constructed a thing that combined a "survey" with rather bludgeoning persuasion, and insisted on that structure.It made me very unhappy. And yes, I do have odd concerns.
Tags: environment, environmental economics, phones, politics, politics (co)
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