Jonathan Parfrey and his team work to make climate change approachable and relevant on the community level, inviting citizens to get engaged in issues that directly affect them.
After spending decades in public service, spanning work in health, faith, community, and the environment, social entrepreneur Jonathan Parfrey turned his attention to climate change.
To facilitate climate communication, Parfrey founded Los Angeles-based Climate Resolve, to develop “practical solutions to meet the climate challenge while creating a better city for Angelenos today and in the future.” The organization specializes in publishing communication strategies that leverage collaborative coalitions to increase public understanding of climate impacts and challenges.
Collaborate with others - Utilize the expertise of others and leverage your own strengths to deliver results.
Translate complex information - Make complex data relatable and accessible in ways that matter to people.
Localize - Find ways to break broader issues down to a local level and use stories about people to connect with your audience.
Found in Translation
Climate Resolve’s first project was translating climate science for Los Angeles citizens, to increase awareness by making climate change matter to everyday people.
In 2010, Climate Resolve began working with UCLA's Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences on a series of climate studies. By studying information about heat and precipitation predictions, they could provide predictions on anticipated climate change impacts on the local, and even neighborhood, level.
To make reading these studies more enticing, Climate Resolve launched a user-friendly web portal and blog. C-Change LA translates the findings of the reports into common language, and coordinated the wide release of the reports to gain greater public and press attention.
While hard science and data are critical to understanding our climate future, it is not enough if we want to engage with all Angelenos and community members throughout Southern California.
Executive Director, Climate Resolve
Bringing Information to Life: Partnership and Outreach
Climate Resolve didn’t stop there. They also released two regional climate studies of their own. The first study considers how climate change will alter temperatures in the LA region. To market the findings broadly, Climate Resolve recruited “unique voices” for a campaign, with human-centered stories that brought the reports to life. The second study, released in June 2013 in cooperation from UCLA and LAMayor Villaraigosa, features a detailed analysis of the region's predicted snowfall. Mid- and End-of-Century Snowfall in the Los Angeles Region includes data and opinions from the leaders of Protect Our Winters, a nonprofit of winter sports enthusiasts and CalTrout, a nonprofit that protects and restores wild trout, steelhead, salmon and their waters in the Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority. The report was covered by TIME magazine, LA Times, KCET, KCBS and over 40 additional news outlets. Climate Resolve posted a robust media roundup on their C-Change.LA blog as a go-to source to access information.
Taking It to the Streets
By working with non-traditional organizations, Climate Resolve successfully broadened the public’s perceptions of climate impacts. Because of this unique approach, the organization’s publications led to a widespread discussion about Los Angeles' changing climate. And by making climate change approachable and relevant on the community level, citizens have gotten more engaged as they see climate change directly affect them.
Climate Resolve continues to expand their work on climate change, in Los Angeles, and nationally, and have become a formidable voice in the climate movement.