Akaroa
Environment, Motivational

How to Talk About Climate Change

Thanks largely to social media, much of the world already knows the basic facts – the planet is warming, carbon emissions are increasing, biodiversity is decreasing and all this and more threatens mankind’s existence on planet earth.

Martin Fredricks of IVWords was a recent guest at StPA, writing about how we talk about the climate crisis, and the reactions of others, in everyday conversations.

Do climate sceptics, or those in authority, want to hear more shocking statistics and dire warnings? Will it galvanise support for change and encourage the immediate action that is needed? Possibly. Possibly not.

More likely is that some will turn a deaf ear, place it in the too hard basket or choose not to believe it will happen, at least in their lifetime.

Photo by Markus Spiske on Pexels.com

Repeating facts, figures, and ghastly predictions is merely preaching to the choir, and can actually be counter-productive by provoking anxiety in those who already know the planet is in danger. We don’t need to reiterate that things are getting worse.

Endless and ongoing debate with climate deniers wastes time, precious time as it a sceptic’s own confirmation bias skews their perceptions and blinds them to any logical explanation.

So what might increase awareness and understanding of the climate crisis?

Photo by Markus Spiske on Pexels.com

Personally, I believe we need to focus on solutions. Hope for OUR future is in finding solutions to climate change and reversing environmental damage.

I want to hear ideas and suggestions of things the ordinary man and woman can do, or have already done, in their own corner of the world. Ideas, positive ones. Give us solutions and tips on how we might at least stabilize the environment deterioration, if not improve it.

Context and expert guidance on steps we can enact for ourselves or in collaboration with authorities and others, that is relevant to each individual area is vital.

“I have learned that you are never too small to make a difference.” Greta Thunberg

For it is when we sense that feeling of community, of connection and of common goals, we are more likely to succeed and others, even sceptics will join us in positive action and change.

Please share in the comments below the positive initiatives happening in your corner of the world. Here is some initiatives in mine.

‘Green’ Environmental Initiatives in Moreton Bay, Australia

In my own little area I find:

  • Habitat protection on private properties – Grants for Land dedicated for Wildlife
  • Reforestation and mass tree plantings and maintenance with recycled water by active Bushcare groups
  • Glass recycled for re- use in the manufacture of new glass bottles and conversion to glass sand for use in asphalt, filtration, drainage, coating, resin and sandblasting applications.
  • Plastic collections for recycling by residents, as well as general recycling in Council kerbside collection
  • Walk to school days promoted to discourage use of petroleum driven vehicles
  • Over 75% uptake of solar power panels by new and established homes aided by Government subsidies and rebates
  • Innovative technology to convert landfill gas into green energy, providing alternative power generation. Generators at landfill sites are producing electricity to power over 4,000 homes in the local area each year, saving 75 million cubic metres of the greenhouse gas methane that has been converted to energy.
  • A municipal sustainability policy
  • Reduction of plastic straws, cups and disposable cutlery in cafes

What Positive Change is Happening in Your Corner of the World?

Please share this in the comments below.

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29 thoughts on “How to Talk About Climate Change”

  1. This is a great post. It’s good to remind ourselves that showing how positive change can be easy (in baby steps) can diminish resistance. And wonderful ideas to try implementing in my own area!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Welcome to StPA, The Quitter! Diminish resistance is the catchcry indeed! For people who are resistant to change, baby steps is a way forward. What kinds of things will you implement in your local area?

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  2. Amanda, I had the pleasure of seeing Greta Thunberg come through my city in North Carolina. Such passion and aplomb. She talked down a heckler inviting him back stage to discuss his questions better than most politicians. And, she is not one, as she tells the truth.

    I am glad to see the many good things happening. Utilities and energy companies better get on board, if they are not, as one of the things that scares them is renewable energy need not be large scale to be effective. With the new battery storage capabilities, new neighborhoods can be self-sufficient with solar or wind energy.

    But, what did not get fanfare when the former US president announced he was pulling the US out of the Paris Climate Change Accord, the same day, Exxon Mobil shareholders voted to force management to update them annually about what Exxon is doing about climate change. That was the third energy company that month, whose shareholders voted similarly. Exxon lobbyists were telling Trump to exit the PCCA the same day shareholders were telling Exxon to get with the program.

    Thanks for the series you have been doing. Keith

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am heartened to hear that shareholders are demanding action from companies like Exxon, no matter what Trump did. And our leader is no better because he supports the coal industry here and similarly, receives donations from that sector for him or his party ( privately ) to fund political campaigns. How dare the lobbyists exert such power over a public voted official who is supposed to represent the constituents in his electorate? It is a violation of democracy, yet it is done secretly all the time.
      On the positive side, seeing Greta Thunberg speak must have been amazing. What an incredible girl she is. An inspirational leader already!
      I think the utility companies ARE scared of renewables and cling to the last vestiges of power they have to use. Silly them, they should be on board with renewables themselves. It will come! But, I wish it would hurry up.
      We had solar panels in our last home and I am very excited to say solar will be installed here in our new home in less than 2 weeks. The panels we are getting are much more efficient and environmentally friendly than at the former house. May I ask what kind of solar system you use if you have one, Keith?

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  3. I agree that it is important to work on whatever one can to move forward in this crisis, and I know I for one do not have the time to try to change the minds of the naysayers, nor do I think I could. It is a distraction from the hard work that needs to be done, and the work can start with small steps. Over the weekend, I watched the Netflix documentary “Kiss the Ground,” and I will recommend it, especially to those who think the problems are too massive to solve.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is a good point that you raise about it not being our job to convince sceptics. And it is a waste of time. Our time is better spent doing what we can and in that way, we lead by example and those who are dragging their feet will invariably be left behind.
      Now that sounds like another great show, “Kiss the Ground.” I will hunt that one down on Netflix, as we have now moved into the modern age with Netflix available in Australia.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. In our area we have city wide composting, recycling pick up is free and you are charged by the size of your garbage can to encourage its use. They charge for plastic bags at stores to encourage the use of reusable ones. I think there is a drinking straw ban (there was one, I just don’t know if they relaxed it for Covid) and restaurants are to use recycle-able or compost-able for take out. These are city and county level actions. My husband and I have been using re-useable shopping bags since before it was a thing, we have a couple that are older than our 31 year old son! With repaired handles they continue to serve well. I have a lot of old wash cloths that I have been using in the kitchen, again older than my child. It would be impossible to calculate how many paper towels we haven’t used through the years. We use cloth napkins. I realize that these little things don’t seem too big of a deal, except when you consider that doing them for over 30 years adds up and realize how much could be saved if everyone did those things for over 30 years, the result would be an awful lot of unfilled landfill and uncut trees.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love that some many places are charging for plastic bags at stores to encourage the use of reusable ones. Like you, I have had my own shopping bags, fabric ones that I made and upcycled. I wrote about it here: https://forestwoodfolkart.wordpress.com/2018/07/29/upcycle-tutorial-environmental-bags/
      https://forestwoodfolkart.wordpress.com/2010/04/13/scrap-bags-a-girl-can-never-have-enough-bags/
      I do very much agree with you about the years adding up.
      Cloth napkins are something that I need to bring back myself. We so rarely use napkins but I could make some really fun ones out of some leftover scrap material.
      I find odd socks (the random ones that aren’t eaten by the washing macine) are great for dusting shutters or venetian blinds. Most of my cleaning clothes are old clothes that are past their use by date. It is ridiculous to buy a cloth just to wipe away dust! These are great initiatives that are so simple and easy to do, immediately. The more paper we eliminate, the more trees are saved.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. This morning, as I was biking on the “road to nowhere,” I was listening to the podcast of “A Matter of Degrees,” and I thought about you. Have you heard of it? In case you have not, here’s the link: https://www.degreespod.com/ The first episode, “Give Up Your Climate Guilt,” addresses some of the same topics that you covered in your post. I’m with Keith. Grateful you are doing this series. Onward, ho!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Laurie! And I am flattered that I entered your mind for a brief second. I suppose that means that blog writing does enter other people’s consciousness. I have not heard of the podcast but I will definitely check it out. Many thanks and yes, I will continue to run some more posts on this theme. I have been reading a book by Rebecca Huntley which really motivated me. I am not sure it is available globally as she is an Australian writer. But if you see it, it is not a bad read.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi, Amanda – I agree with your thoughts on climate change deniers and deaf ears. I am inspired by the initiatives happening in your community. I try hard to focus on the things that I can do to help protect our planet — and then increase my list from there. Fairly consistently I eat very little meat — especially red meat. I buy organics whenever I can and work hard on not wasting food. I live in a small town and walk for most errands and activities — a full week can go by when I have not once been in a car. I read widely and frequently on climate change – including this blog. I know that I can do much more and continue to focus on adding to my list. Thank you for featuring this topic on your site and sharing this knowledge and inspiration with others.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Donna for your kind words and support. It sounds like you are trying really hard for the planet, particularly in so far as transport and diet is concerned. Has your municipal (local) authority got any initiatives planned?

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  7. Our school just signed on to a funded project to “green up” the school in an endemic way; a group of learners belong to a Rotary club that is looking into ways of recycling and upcycling. The whole school is going to take part, each in its grade specific way and connected to the curriculum.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Another pandemic is not a great option is it? Even though I take your point that it gives the planet a break.
      You are right that we need to do something about controlling emissions. It is getting desperate and it is a shame that we have not acted sooner, given there are option already. This is the bind we find ourselves in as we are a profit driven economic system. The state of the economy has become the decisive point in policy decisions. It was never going to end well with that in mind. The word tax here is like mentioning the devil in medieval times. People are fearful of it, even it is helps them.

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