It’s Time To Talk About How We Talk About Climate Change

We are currently on a race against climate change. Or are we already living with its impacts? Are we totally doomed, or is this an opportunity for mass scale changes in our economies and technology? Are polar bears the worst affected, or is it the bees that are dying? What about plastic pollution and the death of coral reefs? Is global warming even really caused by humans, or did I read somewhere that it was part of the natural cycle of the Earth? Or is this all just a made-up hoax from China to get ahead?

Okay we can begin by ignoring that last one. The truth though, is that it’s complicated. Even among those who believe in the scientific consensus that the planet is warming (and even among those of us who understand it is due to our own emissions of greenhouse gasses from the fossil fuels we have relied on for energy) talking about it has been an ongoing and very pressing challenge.

A lot of writing and advocacy on climate change these days gets it right about the risk, but wrong about how we try to accomplish the critical goal of raising public concern and moving people to action. That’s because it appeals to reason, and reason is not what drives human behavior. It is a challenge that we must overcome in finding effective and efficient ways to not only communicate the science as evidence of anthropogenic climate change, but in mobilizing public support for action and solutions.

This is why we decided to launch a project to tackle these very pressing questions. As advocates, policymakers, or concerned citizens, it’s important that we take a moment to think through how we can best craft our message on this very crucial topic. We are sitting down with experts in field for this new segment of our podcast: Now What? Learn with us from faith leaders, professors, campaigners, community advocates, and other awesome humans doing the work, and get a fresh new outlook of the future and your role in shaping it.

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