It can be hard to have a positive discussion on climate change. It is a complex issue. Many of us
are in our ideological information bubbles or struck by seemingly conflicting information. As we
enter 2018, passions are high on both sides, and the stakes even higher. If you want to move your
family, colleagues, or community forward on the issue, what do you do?
Opening Up the Conversation
At ecoAmerica, we work with America’s religious denominations, national health and medical associations, communities and more to support their efforts to understand the implications of climate change, and to develop practical, effective strategies for them to address solutions with their many millions of members. Our work starts with people, and we do a lot of listening to truly understand their values, concerns, and priorities. We’ve learned a lot, and will share what we’ve learned with you in our new monthly series – Climate Talking Points.
Each month we will pick a topic or theme related to climate change, providing both positive talking points and some responses to key questions or criticisms around that topic. Our goal is to open up the conversation, focus on common values, and help us all move forward together on climate solutions.
This month, Climate Talking Points offers 9 tips for opening the discussion and counterpoints to common arguments related to energy. Download your copy HERE.
This guidance is grounded in ecoAmerica’s extensive research on climate communications, and our experience deploying it (see list and links at the bottom of this page). As such, it might sometimes conflict with what you think is “common sense.” For instance, “Big Tent” Democrats think “we’re all in this together” is an effective argument – but it doesn’t resonate with more conservative Republicans. Conservatives trust faith leaders on climate change and don’t understand why progressives would trust celebrities.
Trust is a key word: Who you are as an individual and the trusted role you play as a leader in your field and community are ultimately what will give the words you use their power. Besides living your values in an exemplary way, the leverage you have is that people in your circles tend to share your values, but may not yet be “activated” on climate change. Use your connections, and this guidance, to reach out to your colleagues, community, and fellow congregants.
A Wealth of Resources
Also please take advantage of the wealth of climate communications reports, research guides, and webinars available for download on our website. They include:
- American Climate Values
- Connecting on Climate: A Guide to Effective Climate Communications
- 15 Steps to Effective Climate Communications
- the Let’s Talk Climate research series including
- The monthly American Climate Perspectives Survey
- The annual American Climate Metrics Survey
Find common ground, and then take action. Each of us can make a big difference.
We welcome your thoughts and suggestions. Please contact Chief Engagement Officer Meighen Speiser at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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