The Donut Tour: CCL Flagstaff uses tasty outreach tools
By Charlie Garlow
Route 66, the historic and romantic route to the West, was the site of a creative tabling effort by the CCL’s Flagstaff chapter: the Donut Tour for a Livable World. Flagstaff is in the middle of northern Arizona, and Flagstaff CCLers hit the road to drum up support for our vision of the path to curbing climate change.
The idea for the weekend-long Donut Tour arose from a monthly chapter meeting. The group’s idea—buy donuts, bring out the CCL banner to table at local parks or gathering spots in cities around Arizona, and see who comes over for a donut and a chat. Yum.
Logistics were assigned to Don Bayles, an attorney with a master’s degree in climate science and solutions. Don is also the CCL liaison for Rep. Tom O’Halleran, who represents Arizona’s first district. The donut tour team included Flagstaff CCL group co-lead Shawn Newell, who planned to ride shotgun on the tour. They were joined by another Flagstaff leader, Dr. David Spence, who has served all around the world through Doctors Without Borders. Dr. Spence brought another eye-catching idea: big weather balloons in different colors with CCL and CFD messages on the sides.
In addition to conceptualizing the weekend’s tabling events, the group also spoke with local indigenous leaders to make sure visits would be welcome in their towns.
Touring, talking, and tasting
On a Saturday earlier this spring, the three of them drove 145 miles to Kingman with their informational materials, balloons, and of course, donuts. After about an hour chatting with folks at a local dog park, they packed up and headed to additional Arizona cities: Peach Springs (part of the Hualapai Nation) Seligman, and Williams.
The next day, Sunday, they visited Leupp (part of the Navajo Nation). There was snow up in Flagstaff that day, thanks to an elevation of 6,900 feet, but there was nothing but clear skies when they got to the farmers market in Leupp, several thousand feet lower. The Leuppians were very aware of climate change. Locals ate the donuts, and our CCLers ate the delicious tamales and other local foods from local vendors.
Then, the team moved on to Winslow, where there’s a statue remembering “Standing on a corner, in Winslow, Arizona” as the Eagles song says. The statue welcomed Shawn’s CCL lanyard, for a while. Unfortunately, the 44 mile-per-hour winds in Winslow, and in the next town, Holbrook, blew their balloons, literature, and visitors away. Not so many wanted to brave the stout conditions. Still, Dr. Spence put up the CCL banner, and the team found a few souls willing to come out and chat.
Results and momentum
Over the two days, our road warriors traveled 512 miles, most of it along historic Route 66. What was their point? They wanted to spread the word about CCL and Carbon Fee and Dividend. As hoped, they found several interested people who may become the core of new chapters in northern Arizona, where climate change-driven wildfire and drought are big issues.
This tour built on ongoing efforts by CCL Flagstaff to attract attention and supporters, such as tabling with “climate hero” costumes and easy demonstrations of climate concepts like the albedo effect. They’ve shown the film “Saving Snow” to an audience of 85, as well as organized an educational speaking series with local CCL member and science teacher David Edge. The Flagstaff chapter has also successfully worked with their city council on unanimously passing a resolution in support of CF&D.
What next for our stalwart crew? They are coming to Washington, D.C., again in June to meet with their Congressman Tom O’Halleran. Maybe they will tell him their discovery that pink donuts aren’t very popular—but Carbon Fee and Dividend is a decided favorite!
Charlie Garlow is a CCL volunteer in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.