Talking about climate change can be intimidating: The science seems complicated, people’s views on it differ, and the politics surrounding it are messy.

Let’s get the facts straight. Are you new to climate change science? Check out the educational resources Protect Our Winters put together here

National Geographic and Leonardo DiCaprio released a new documentary about climate change; you can watch it on YouTube for free. 

Iceberg

Once you’ve got a better understanding about climate change, it’s time to TALK ABOUT IT.

Here’s our tips to have a successful Climate Conversation:

  1. Know your audience:

    Who are you talking to? Your best friend? A child? A professor? Be aware that you will have to talk to people differently based on their professions, age, hobbies, interests, political views, religion, etc.

  2. Find common ground:

    You might not be able to talk about the negative environmental impacts of coal to a miner; but you can talk about opportunities to develop efficient technology and clean energy solutions to provide countless jobs and end foreign oil dependency. Search for topics you can agree on with your audience: negative conversations are never productive.

  3. Slow down and listen:

    It can be easy to tune out someone who disagrees with you - but to have a successful conversation you need to respect your audience’s opinions. Ask plenty of questions, and at the very least try to understand why they hold the opinions that they’re communicating to you.

  4. Be aware of your limitations:

    It’s unlikely that you are going to change your audience’s strongly held opinions, even if you present them with facts and logic. However, by respectfully vocalizing your opinions as well as listening to your audience’s, you might be able to slightly change their opinion on one aspect of the issue (i.e. not all environmentalists are extremists, etc.).

  5. Keep practicing:

    However minimally, progress is progress. Keep talking about climate change to a variety of audiences and develop your skills to relate to people - even if you don't agree. These skills will surely benefit you in other areas of your life beyond talking about climate change.