Talking about climate change

Contributed by Liza Watson.

Two ILNH members attended a Stanford political psychology professor’s talk on the effects of persuasive messages on attitudes toward climate change. He has been studying this area for a long time – bottom line is that attitudes are very hard to affect, and about 80% of the adult population has the view that humans have played a role in causing climate change. If you run into a climate change denier, here are some tips:

Say this: If you asked a room of 10 Americans about global warming, eight would say they accept the knowledge that it is happening.

Not this: You just have to “believe” in climate change.

Say this: Most of your neighbors and community members have the view that our planet is warming and that we humans have played a role in this change.

Not this: Be a rebel, say you accept scientific evidence.

Say this: I’m happy to learn that 74% of Americans prefer preparation for changes that will come with our changing climate instead of waiting to see what we have to deal with.

Not this: Some people are ostriches – they are going to see their beach homes destroyed and they won’t get their head out of the sand.

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