Our mission is to film short videos, and a documentary, on water security as it relates to climate change to educate and inspire lawmakers and the public. We will use the films to organize community leaders to foster policy that combats climate change and promotes water security. By creating empathy through storytelling we aim to inspire community action, the media, and lawmakers.
Most people are unaware that 40 out of 50 U.S. states expect water shortages in 10 years, according to the Government Accountability Office. At the same time, Saudi Arabia is currently buying up U.S. water rights. Internationally, the United Nations has identified 37 acute conflicts in the last 50 years caused by trans-boundary water rights. Additionally, U.S. intelligence agencies recently reported that water is a major source of instability and potential conflict.
“My deployment to Fallujah, Iraq, with the Marine Corps infantry, gave me firsthand insights into why it’s critical to find solutions to the water insecurity connected to climate change.
“While on patrol just outside the city, a roadside bomb hit my HUMVEE. Fortunately for us, the “military-age man” was not well trained, and most of the blast missed our vehicle. When we caught him, we learned that he was a farmer with little or no explosives experience. Because of climate change, his crops had failed. Vulnerable, he had been turned into a terrorist paid to attack Americans. For me, the connection between climate change and water insecurity became crystal clear.
“Soon thereafter, I started to put the pieces together on how climate change and water insecurity are inseparable.”—Alex Cornell du Houx
We already organized 350 state and local lawmakers to sign onto a letter and conducted international press conferences at the Paris Climate Accords.
The Department of State funded our first short video highlighting Maine’s climate and water security issues, along with solutions that the state’s elected officials and educators are working on, like the development and implementation of floating offshore wind turbine farms.
After the video, we conducted a value-based communications training and provided lawmakers and community members with messaging tools to continue working on Maine’s water and climate issues. We’ve launched a media campaign in Maine highlighting the video, helping lawmakers and leaders pursue their efforts in combating climate change.
Additionally, we organized a campaign, Operation Free, of elected officials and military veterans in 20+ states to promote energy security and combat climate change, leveraging $9 million in advertising and winning the Reed Award for the Best Public Affairs Campaign.
http://codebluewater.org – has been viewed 20,000 times during our initial release.
Strategy— Organizing through storytelling
Year one: The first phase is to engage in 13 additional states to film additional videos and conduct trainings so lawmakers and citizens will be able to effectively communicate the dangers and solutions of climate and water security.
We will film these shorts in 2D and 3D – for 3D has proven to increase empathy, which results in increased community action.
The short videos raise awareness of this critical issue and market the upcoming documentary. We have a guaranteed audience, as each lawmaker will want to showcase themselves and their community. A California state senator, for example, has close to a million constituents.
Following the video, we will conduct value-based communications training and provide lawmakers and community members with the messaging tools to continue working on water and climate issues. Additionally, we will launch a media campaign in each state to frame and strengthen our narrative.
Year two: We will use the footage from each state visit and produce a documentary that includes worldwide water issues. As the world heats up due to climate change, the increasing lack of fresh water is causing conflicts around the globe.
But there is hope—real solutions are already making a difference, which we will highlight. Through a character driven style, we will chronicle the dangers and solutions to water security and climate change from the Middle East, to Africa, Asia, the Pacific and the Americas.
After working in the Middle East, Southeast Asia, Africa, and South America for 14 years with the Navy, State Department and international media, we have a great number of contacts that can help tell this engaging story.
Engage and partner with existing community organizations in each state
Film engaging narrative-driven video in 2D and 3D with community members and lawmakers
Show the video at the State Capitols with 3D headsets, and the 2D version available for sharing
Conduct Value-Based Communications Trainings
at the Capitols so lawmakers and supporters know how to effectively message climate change policy
Provide social media support with a messaging information flyer, press releases, and photos for continued lawmaker, staff, and media engagement
Launch traditional and digital media engagement strategies in each state to increase the impact of our video for lawmakers, media, and constituents
Strengthen our network of lawmakers, organizations and concerned citizens committed to water and climate policy through conferences, webinars, and social media
14 videos filmed and produced
14 Value-Based Communications trainings conducted
14 messaging and media packets produced, tailored to local issues
At least 20,000 views on each video on social media
Quarterly webinars, and as needed for quick reaction to urgent issues
National convening of lawmakers who have worked with us
Lawmakers and community leaders utilizing our communications trainings, messaging documents, social media, letters to the editor and op-ed’s
Monitoring and mapping of climate policy introduced, as a result of our engagement
Evaluations of climate issues at or near the top of our targeted state's agenda in the Capitols and communities
Leadership, committee chairs, and staff talking publically about the need to address climate issues
We are currently working with the following partners: Elected Officials to Protect America is an implantation partner. Go Fovrth studios is a production partner. The Solon Center for Research and Publishing is our fiscal partner. Networks like State Innovation Exchange, Local Progress, Climate Mayors, and Young Elected Officials that convene progressive state and local elected officials. Implementation partners like ICLEI, Mayors Innovation Project, and National League of Cities provide direct policy implementation support for local and state action. Advocacy partners like 350.org, NextGen America, the Truman National Security Project, Food & Water Watch, Advanced Energy Economy, Climate Hawks, Water 2017, Lonely Whale Foundation, EarthJustice, Divest-Invest Network, and Oil Change International work with lawmakers and community leaders in their local contexts.
Budget, year one—
We can start filming and producing the short videos in $13,000 increments. The first year will cost $257,000 to produce and implement the program. We have a $10,000 grant from the State Department and a $50,000 grant from the Roddenberry Foundation to get the project off the ground. We are seeking $197,000 to complete the necessary funding.