How often do you talk about climate change or hear someone else talk about it? If you responded, “not much,” you are not alone. Only 24% of Americans have heard Climate Change discussed in their social circle.
To stop the goliath that is climate change, we need to talk about the issue and solutions. We also need to get as many people on board with climate initiatives as possible, including people who are otherwise unmotivated or unconvinced of the need to act. The only way to do that is, you guessed it, to talk about it. So, how should we go about this?
- Have non-judgmental discussions. Open-minded discussions about emotional topics lead to lasting opinion changes and increased concern about an issue. They increase the chances that participants want to act.
- Focus on values and personal experiences. In climate discussions, this could mean talking about family, religion, community, recreation, patriotism, and how climate change affects them all.
- Rather than focusing on doom and gloom facts, be optimistic. Discuss the potential for solutions that benefit not just the planet, but also our economy, health, and equality.
Here is the best part about all of this: those who we talk to about climate change then discuss it with their social circle, creating a positive feedback loop. Only 22% of those who rarely discuss climate change talk about it with their family and friends, while 76% of those who discuss climate change at least once a month talk about it to their family and friends.
So, let’s all challenge ourselves to talk to someone about climate change and see where the action takes us.
Montana Burack, Senior at Park City High School