Tomorrow, millions of Americans will sit down to a table to eat, drink, and be merry among family and loved ones. While we hope that most of you will enjoy some quality time over a good meal, we know that inevitably, some of you will face a dreaded, uncomfortable conversation or two. In today’s political climate (pun intended) and the era of “Fake News,” it’s important to be a trusted messenger on climate change. And we’re here to help you be just that.
Here’s how to talk climate with your out-of-touch uncle (aunt, father, brother, sister, etc.) at Thanksgiving.
Stay Calm, Collected, and Prepared to Listen
In these trying days of social media, partisanship and serious angst for just about every person of every ideological persuasion, talking politics has reached a new level of cathartic release. With that in mind, remain calm when things inevitably get out of hand. Try to keep the discussion on topic, and genuinely try to understand each argument of the opposing side. And don’t forget, there’s probably some alcohol doing at least part of the talking.
Be Ready With The Facts (REAL Ones) For Common Arguments Against Climate Change
“There is no evidence of climate change.”
This line of thinking is in direct conflict with NASA, NOAA, the Department of Energy, and 97% of the world’s climate scientists. Oh, and about 70 percent of the US population. About the only major group still in denial of climate change is the Republican Party. However that is changing.
“It’s not clear that it’s human caused.”
Here’s a tasty little digestif to follow up your turkey dinner from the Climate Science Special Report released by the US Government just this month.
“Many lines of evidence demonstrate that human activities, especially emissions of greenhouse gases, are primarily responsible for the observed climate changes in the industrial era, especially over the last six decades.”
“What’s wrong with a little climate change? I hate cold weather.”
For one, that garden-level Boca Raton condo is going to take on some flood damage as sea levels rise and storms intensify. Don’t expect to find refuge in the mountains either as intensifying drought and wildfires are also in climate prediction models.
The Thanksgiving dinner table is no place for fatalism. While the United States government is currently pursuing a short-sided policy of climate-change denial, countless other world players are trying to make a difference. Electric vehicles are becoming more commonplace, solar power is more affordable than ever, and wind energy production is on the rise. With the economics of energy aligning more closely with pro-climate policy, there is lots to be hopeful for on this day of thanks. Climate change will personally affect everyone at the table. Addressing and combating climate change will be the definitive issue of this generation, and it’s going to take the will of all people, even your crazy uncle, to make change happen.