Climate change: it Starts with a Converstaion
For many of us, thinking about what the future holds can bring an overwhelming sense of trepidation. It's no wonder so many people find it difficult coming to grips with a slow-moving, long-term, collective problem like climate change. If you’re wondering how to deal with your environmental concerns or how to help spread environmental awareness, you’ve come to the right place.
Let’s be honest. The topic of climate change isn’t the most enthralling discussion to have at a family dinner, at the cafe with friends, or at a bar with coworkers. But one of the most important things you can do about climate change is talk about it.
Climate Change is no longer an issue best left for the distant future. The signs and impact of the climate crisis are more evident than ever, from melting glaciers, unpredictable weather conditions, increasing maximum and minimum temperatures, the list goes on. It's transforming the planet, so why aren’t we talking about it?
Significant Changes Start with Small Talk.
We know all about the headlines, environmentalists, and scientists screaming at the top of their lungs, but we’re still not talking about the climate crisis like we should be. Even as we face countless environmental issues like heat waves, floods, and hurricanes. Even as we witness the amazon rainforest suffer the worst fires in a decade and rising sea levels means that several countries will be underwater by 2100.
Climate Change shouldn’t be one of those controversial topics like religion or politics. And you don’t need to be exactly like Greta Thunberg to make a difference. A study showed that interpersonal discussion amongst your social circle (friends and family, co-workers) about the climate crisis could jumpstart a pro-climate feedback loop, leading to greater awareness and concern.
According to researchers, here's how it works:
- When you talk about climate change with people you know, they’re more likely to learn key facts, such as the scientific consensus that it is human caused and that global warming is indeed happening.
- In turn, stronger perceptions of scientific consensus increase the belief that climate change is happening and human-caused.
- As a result, greater belief encourages discussion of the problem, which starts the cycle again. More climate conversations. More belief. Greater concern.
Without discussing climate change, people may never learn important facts about it, or close friends and family care about the issue. A 2018 study revealed that out of the 26 countries surveyed, 13 of them saw climate change as a serious threat to their nation. But you’d never know from how little we talk about it. This collective silence can easily make us feel like we’re alone in our fear and concern.
Your beliefs matter. Your environmental concerns are valid.
Essentially, who’s talking matters. People trust their peers, family members, and loved ones more than experts, scientists, or environmental organisations. The problem is thinking that people disagree with you, or that others don’t care about the issue. As Mathew Goldberg, a social psychologist at Yale University said:
“If you think everyone disagrees with you, or most people disagree with you, then you are not going to want to speak up. It starts this spiral of silence where people misjudge the beliefs of others, and then they remain quiet about this important issue.”
This sort of mentality can hinder the start of important conversations. Even though we’re probably all on the same page and have the same feelings towards the climate crisis.
Climate change activism starts with a conversation.
After all, we are social creatures. What we talk about and how we act within our social circle can help raise and spread awareness about important topics. So, what are you waiting for? Why not be the one to kick off the conversation? If you don’t know where to start, check some of our blog posts below: