GHM Alumni Profile: Bipartisan Approach to Climate Change Advocacy

To celebrate GreenHawks Media’s 10th anniversary in 2020, the site will feature profiles of alumni staff writers that contributed to the publication’s content and mission during their time at Miami University. Up first is Tyler Gillette, a 2018 GreenHawks and Miami alum.

By: Shannon Reilly

Climate change, despite its universal impact, has become a highly politicized issue. This creates obstacles for action on a time- sensitive problem. When an event as universal as climate change gets associated with only one political party, it can restrict the actions of politicians and constituents in order to stay aligned with party ideals. 

Tyler Gillette, a 2018 graduate of Miami University, uses his experiences at Miami as his foundation for his career and advocacy to protect the environment. When reflecting on how his time at Miami has prepared him for his career, Gillette mentioned his background in biology and ecology, a foundation that gave him an understanding of the scientific processes behind climate change. At Miami, he also found a network of students concerned about climate change. Gillette also occasionally wrote for GreenHawks Media! 

Gillette’s daily work consists of environmental consulting, but outside of his job, his passions push him to do advocacy work to fight for climate action. He works with the Citizens Climate Lobby, a nonprofit organization with active local chapters all around the country. Gillette also volunteers for an organization called republicEn, a group that supports environmental activism from a conservative perspective. This puts Gillette in a unique position in which he primarily serves a conservative audience, but he is trying to change this and stress environmental topics as  bipartisan issues. He focuses on influencing young audiences; for instance, Gillette will sometimes travel to college campuses to hold discussions on solutions to climate change. 

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Gillette outside Senator Mitt Romney’s Washington D.C. office.

Part of Gillette’s work is education on carbon pricing and carbon dividends as incentives for more sustainable actions. Under this system, companies are taxed by the ton for the carbon that they emit, and the tax revenue generated is pooled and distributed to consumers as a dividend. This is one approach that other sectors, like companies in big oil, have offered that is gaining support in the United States. 

Gillette’s career is one approach to environmental advocacy that helps spread awareness on climate change and open discussions for solutions. He takes a new approach to prioritizing sustainability in politics and is making an effort to overcome roadblocks in passing effective legislation. From Gillette’s time at Miami, he was able to find a way to make an impact on an issue that is both important to him and critical to the planet.

The alum credits GreenHawks with giving him “a voice to start [his] op-Ed writing career. I found a voice that people seem to like. If I had not written this piece with GreenHawks, then republicEn would have never heard of me and neither would CCL.”

 

Photos courtesy of Tyler Gillette

GreenHawks Media

GreenHawks Media is Miami University’s first environmental publication. Our goal is to unite green initiatives on campus and in the community. We hope to make a difference in a journalistic fashion by spreading news and information as well as educating our readers. We would like to present GreenHawks Media as a central place for groups and individuals to share their ideas, concerns, and initiatives. Individually and in small groups, efforts are made to make a difference and promote change. While one person may have a concern, another is researching it and needs assistance. While one initiative is being made in a science department, a similar idea is being discussed in a local business. GreenHawks Media provides the opportunity for shared visions to come together. We are journalists, writers, photographers, and scientists. We are students. We are motivated to use media to contribute to the change that our generation needs to make in order to protect and understand the planet we call home.

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