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 Climate for Health, we work with America’s national health and medical associations and practitioners to support their efforts to understand the implications of climate change, and to develop practical, effective strategies for them to address solutions with their millions of members. As with the rest of ecoAmerica, our parent organization, our work starts with people, and involves listening to truly understand their values, concerns, and priorities. We’ve learned a lot, and will share what we’ve learned with you in ecoAmerica's new series: Climate Talking Points.
Each month, ecoAmerica 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. The 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 experience deploying it (see list and links at the bottom of this page). This advice might sometimes conflict with what you think is “common sense.” For instance, health professionals' work is grounded in science, and yet some may believe their profession has nothing to do with climate change, or that it's not appropriate to talk about it in a clinical setting. So simply appealing to science may not do the job.
But the research shows that medical pros -- particularly nurses-- are trusted by their patients and the larger community. Who you are as an individual and the trusted role you play as a healthcare leader (including among your peers) 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 and patients.
A Wealth of Resources
Also please take advantage of the wealth of climate communications reports, research guides, and webinars available for download on the ecoAmerica website. They include:
the Let’s Talk Climate research series, including:
- Let’s Talk Health & Climate (this can be your go-to)
- Let’s Talk Climate: Messages to Motivate Latino Americans
- Let’s Talk Faith & Climate
- Let’s Talk Communities & Climate
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 email@example.com.