How Can We Effectively Talk About Climate Change?
Start writing a post
Featured

How Can We Effectively Talk About Climate Change?

Is it the topic? Or is the direction of the conversation within our control?

752
How Can We Effectively Talk About Climate Change?

This is a response to https://www.theodysseyonline.com/hitchhikers-guide-backyard

We can probably all agree that climate change is a very relevant and discussed topic. Some individuals believe in it, some do not, and some are confused with what it all entails and how it affects them. Aside from the very probable weather and natural disaster impacts it will have on climates around the world, climate change is also one of the topics that is having an impact on our ability to have political conversations.

So what's the issue?

Some younger folks may have experiences where they’ve tried talking about climate change with a relative or older person in their life, or even a peer, and felt discredited or made to feel that they are in the wrong for believing and wanting to fight climate change. I want to propose the idea that many folks, across different ages and backgrounds, have also probably been made to feel stupid for not believing in climate change. Sometimes they’ve been offered the science and other information required to support the belief that climate change is real and will have serious effects on our lives, and they choose to believe otherwise. This almost always leads to awkward, uncomfortable, and sometimes extremely problematic conversations.

But does it have to?

I recently graduated with my bachelor’s degree in Environmental Policy and Analysis and personally believe in climate change. But I certainly know I am not the smartest in the room, do not know everything when it comes to climate studies, and would not ever want someone to feel dumb when it comes to discussing the environment. I also would not want someone to discredit my education, the passion that I’ve poured into my degree and lifestyle in recent years, or make me feel dumb for trusting what I have been taught and feel is the reality of our situation. I’m confident that others feel the same.

How do we fix this?

Here are some tips I’ve collected over the years:

  • 1. Be open-minded

It sounds simple, and so many people these days have it in their minds that they are open-minded and non-judgmental. But are we really open-minded if we consider the more accepting side as the only side? This doesn’t mean you have to forego your personal beliefs; it simply means allowing yourself to understand someone else’s position, the life they’ve lived that has led them to this point and seeing them as an equal human to you.

  • 2. Listen

Instead of waiting to offer your side of the topic, trust that you’ll remember the key points of your own perspective and take the time to really listen to what the other person is saying. If we listen more, there may be details and parts of the story that we’ve missed or not understood before.

  • 3. Be confident & respectful

When it comes time to offering your side, feel free to share everything that has led you to your current position and view. We all have different journeys; maybe you are farther along in the educational journey of a topic than the person you are talking with. Offering the information you know, in a confident and respectful manner, may have the power to open their mind and help you both come to a common ground.

Even if you have a conversation about a difficult topic, it doesn’t mean the conversation itself has to be difficult. The next time you are discussing one of these topics with someone with an opposing view, I encourage you to listen and stay open to their perspective. It can be quite educational, broaden your own horizons, and unite us all to work together instead of against each other to combat our shared issues.

Report this Content
Student Life

Top 10 Reasons My School Rocks!

Why I Chose a Small School Over a Big University.

98080
man in black long sleeve shirt and black pants walking on white concrete pathway

I was asked so many times why I wanted to go to a small school when a big university is so much better. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure a big university is great but I absolutely love going to a small school. I know that I miss out on big sporting events and having people actually know where it is. I can't even count how many times I've been asked where it is and I know they won't know so I just say "somewhere in the middle of Wisconsin." But, I get to know most people at my school and I know my professors very well. Not to mention, being able to walk to the other side of campus in 5 minutes at a casual walking pace. I am so happy I made the decision to go to school where I did. I love my school and these are just a few reasons why.

Keep Reading...Show less
Lots of people sat on the cinema wearing 3D glasses
Pinterest

Ever wonder what your friend meant when they started babbling about you taking their stapler? Or how whenever you ask your friend for a favor they respond with "As You Wish?" Are you looking for new and creative ways to insult your friends?

Well, look no further. Here is a list of 70 of the most quotable movies of all time. Here you will find answers to your questions along with a multitude of other things such as; new insults for your friends, interesting characters, fantastic story lines, and of course quotes to log into your mind for future use.

Keep Reading...Show less
New Year Resolutions

It's 2024! You drank champagne, you wore funny glasses, and you watched the ball drop as you sang the night away with your best friends and family. What comes next you may ask? Sadly you will have to return to the real world full of work and school and paying bills. "Ah! But I have my New Year's Resolutions!"- you may say. But most of them are 100% complete cliches that you won't hold on to. Here is a list of those things you hear all around the world.

Keep Reading...Show less
Lifestyle

The Ultimate Birthday: Unveiling the Perfect Day to Celebrate!

Let's be real, the day your birthday falls on could really make or break it.

43393
​different color birthday candles on a cake
Blacksburg Children's Museum

You heard it here first: birthdays in college are some of the best days of your four years. For one day annually, you get to forget about your identity as a stressed, broke, and overworked student, and take the time to celebrate. You can throw your responsibilities for a day, use your one skip in that class you hate, receive kind cards and gifts from loved ones and just enjoy yourself.

Keep Reading...Show less
Featured

Unleash Inspiration: 15 Relatable Disney Lyrics!

Leave it to Disney to write lyrics that kids of all ages can relate to.

71821
The 15 most inspiring Disney songs

Disney songs are some of the most relatable and inspiring songs not only because of the lovable characters who sing them, but also because of their well-written song lyrics. While some lyrics make more sense with knowledge of the movie's story line that they were written for, other Disney lyrics are very relatable and inspiring for any listener.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments