Environment and Pollution

Conversation Guide

Since the 1970s, presidential candidates have used energy as a key platform promise, highlighting our need to be energy independent. As our awareness of our vulnerability in relying on foreign sources of energy and the global nature of energy companies grew, we started using more alternative power and accessing more domestic resources than ever before. So what exactly do we mean by energy security? In this conversation, we talk about our evolving understanding of energy, sustainability, energy choices and how our lives are impacted by the energy we use. What can we learn about our shared stories that is similar? And where are the common themes that we all share?

Background Information:

While you don’t need to be an expert on this topic, sometimes people want background information. Our partner, AllSides, has prepared a variety of articles reflecting multiple sides of this topic.

Let's Get Started!

This Living Room Conversation flows through three rounds of questions and a closing. Some rounds ask you to answer each question. Others feature multiple questions that serve as conversation starters — you need only respond to the one or two you find most interesting.

Before You Begin...

Please go over the Conversation Agreements with your participants.

Introductions: Getting Started/
Why Are We Here?

What interested you or drew you to this conversation?

Round 1: Core Values

Answer one or more of the following:
  • What sense of purpose / mission / duty guides you in your life?
  • What would your best friend say about who you are and what inspires you?
  • What are your hopes and concerns for your community and/or the country?

Round 2:

What are your thoughts on Environment and Pollution?

  • What effect has environmental pollution had on on your life?
  • If you were able to dictate how to manage environmental pollution what would you do?
  • How would you prefer clean-up projects to be managed? By public oversight, private oversight or both?
  • Based on your experience, how close to optimal are current environmental practices around pollution control/reduction?
  • What, if anything, should we do as a society to reduce harmful effects of pollution? Education? Regulation? Criminal prosecution? What works?

Round 3: Reflection & Next Steps

  • In one sentence, share what was most meaningful or valuable to you in the experience of this Living Room Conversation?
  • What new understanding or common ground did you find within this topic?
  • Has this conversation changed your perception of anyone in this group, including yourself?
  • Name one important thing that was accomplished here.
  • Is there a next step you would like to take based upon the conversation you just had?

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