Using Reddit to build support for carbon fee and dividend

Using Reddit to build support for carbon fee and dividend

by Trevor Stone, Boulder CCL steering committee

The social media platform Reddit offers unique opportunities to build grassroots support for carbon fee and dividend (CF&D). Reddit is the seventh most-visited website in the U.S. and gets hundreds of millions of visitors around the world; it’s also available as a mobile app. Reddit is organized around communities—known as “subreddits”—devoted to a particular topic. Reddit users (“Redditors”) post links, images, and discussion topics. Redditors can comment on these posts, and comments are threaded, allowing sub-discussions to take place. Redditors can vote (up or down) on posts and comments, influencing the likelihood that other users will see them.

While this may sound a lot like other social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, there are several ways in which Reddit is well-suited to boosting CCL’s message of bipartisan carbon pricing legislation. Reddit’s most distinguishing feature is the subreddit structure. Rather than showing content based on the people you know, Reddit shows content based on the topics you’re interested in

This means an on-topic post in a community has a built-in audience of interested readers, rather than sharing every message with the same group of friends, many with different interests. For example, a post about the Household Impact Study on r/economics will be seen by people with a self-expressed interest in econ subjects while an article about the impacts of Colorado House Bill 1261 may find an especially receptive audience in r/Colorado. (Subreddits are commonly referred to using the r/ prefix, matching a URL like

Another Reddit advantage is that factual, informative, and respectful comments are encouraged and rewarded in most communities. Posts and comments can be long enough to convey nuance, and can include links to supporting information. This provides CCLers an opportunity to understand the audience, bring up the benefits of CF&D, advocate for bipartisan participation in climate legislation, or encourage climate-concerned Redditors to join CCL. Remember that not everyone engaging in the comments section wants to have a productive discussion; you can always disengage if you don’t like how a thread is going.

Take Action:
To get started, sign up for an account at Then find some subreddits that interest you using the Reddit search bar, a Google search like “reddit climate”, or this list of suggestions. Many subreddits show a list of rules on the right side of the screen; make sure to follow these so your posts and comments meet the community norms. Next, look for opportunities to boost CCL’s message. Upvote posts and comments that speak positively about climate action. Look for posts and discussion threads where a comment about CCL policy goals like CF&D or border adjustments would be informative (good laser talk practice!). As you see news and interesting articles, share them on a relevant subreddit—a good way to spread op-eds. Finally, make sure to join communities for your other hobbies: you can be a trusted messenger when climate topics come up.