Castro Valley learns how to start a climate conversations. Ft. the Climate Project

Castro Valley SITA team learn best practices to lead a climate conversation with climate skeptics.

Climate Change is undoubtfully one of the hardest conversation to bring up to a person who does not believe in it. Even with people who do believe in it, it is a hard conversation as the topic is an “existential crisis,” something that threatens the mere existence of human beings on planet Earth.

It is easy to look the other way, especially for people who have been through wars, recessions and other global tragic events and have the mindset of we will overcome anything with time. But with climate change, the one thing that we don’t have is time. If no drastic measures are taken immediately, we face the destruction of human civilization.

Castro Valley interns reflected that it was hard to bring up these conversations at home, with relatives who don’t take climate change as a threat. Amy, from the Climate Project came as a guest speaker to address this issue.

Amy put together some problems that interns would face when having these conversations including: the crisis trap, despair, blame game, repetition on myth.

To solve these, interns learned that they should

  1. Connect to what is happening in the community
  2. Provide Scientific based evidence
  3. Solutions based thinking (e.g. affordable public transit)

Interns were also shown the way to compose emotions and not take the challenging conversations personally. Rather, respond with empathy. This means recognizing the frustration of the other party, reiterating and ending the conversation with some positive notes on climate change achievements.

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