Zero waste

Inviting Someone Into a Conversation on Climate Change

One of the key purposes of The Earth Project is to support people engaging in conversations with one another on topics that are important to them regarding Climate Change.

The hope is that in time these conversations will result in individual or collective visions of a future time when we will be flourishing in a de-carbonized world with substantially reduced unproductive waste. You can learn more about the options for such a world in this overall blog site and particularly in this specific blog post.

I would like to provide guidance in terms of how to invite others into a conversation and what initial question you could ask that would catalyze such a conversation. I will offer one idea here. However, I appreciate that there is a wealth of knowledge and experience out there with all of you. Each of you will approach this differently and we can all learn from each other.

How to invite someone into a conversation?

ME: I have been giving a great deal of thought to what is happening with our environment and the whole issue of climate change. It would be wonderful if I had someone to share these thoughts with and also to hear other perspectives and maybe even to come up with some ideas. Would you have some time to talk to me about this over a cup of coffee? I would like to hear your thoughts on this.

Starting the actual conversation.

ME: One issue that I think about a lot is how to transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy and how to do it quickly. I believe that we need to significantly reduce the amount of carbon in the atmosphere caused by fossil fuels. [ This is where you set out the issue and your opinion.]

ME: It seems that much of the technology is already in place to switch to solar or wind and it is now an issue of investing in building more of this equipment, creating the jobs to design and manufacture this equipment and offering government incentives to support installation. [This is where you set out your thinking, your rationale.]

ME: What do you think? [This is where you ask for the opinion of the other person.]

THE OTHER PERSON: [This is where the other person speaks and you listen courteously and carefully to what they have to say.]

Asking the other person.

ME: Is there a particular issue about Climate Change and the future that you worry about?

ME: [This is where the other person speaks and you listen courteously and carefully to what they have to say.]

Beginning to talk about a desirable future.

ME: I look forward to a time when I can walk outside every day and clearly see the mountains that surround me and smell air as fresh as being in the country. There is no longer soot and smoke from nearby coal-fired power plants or industrial waste being expelled into the air. I check the output from the solar panels on the roof and see that once again, we will have an electricity credit. We no longer receive electric bills and, in fact, some months we receive a credit from the electric company for electricity that we have generated. Traffic nearby moves quietly because all of the vehicles are electric. I feel more content knowing that with each day, the carbon footprint of our city and country and the world is becoming less.

THE OTHER PERSON: That is a wonderful vision. I would like to add to that.

MY QUESTION TO ALL OF YOU READING THIS POST:

  • How would you go about inviting someone into a conversation about climate change?
  • What question(s) would you use to start such a conversation?
  • What can you do be doing to ensure that this is a successful conversation?

Please submit your responses in the Comments section of this blog.