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How to talk to climate sceptics about climate change: Katharine Hayhoe spells it out

Katharine Hayhoe Reveals Surprising Ways to Talk About Climate Change  These climate-skeptic-whispering tactics have nothing to do with science  Sierra BY KATIE O’REILLY | MAR 20 2018 

Katharine Hayhoe on how to talk about climate change (highlights video)

Katharine Hayhoe isn’t your typical atmospheric scientist. Throughout her career, the evangelical Christian and daughter of missionaries has had to convince many (including her pastor husband) that science and religion need not be at odds when it comes to climate change. Hayhoe, who directs Texas Tech’s University’s Climate Science Center, is CEO of ATMOS Research, a scientific consulting company, and produces the PBS Kids’ web series “Global Weirding,” rose to national prominence in early 2012 after then-presidential candidate Newt Gingrich dropped her chapter from a book he was editing about the environment. The reason? Hayhoe’s arguments affirmed that climate change was no liberal hoax. The Toronto native attracted the fury of Rush Limbaugh, who encouraged his listeners to harass her.

After the ensuing deluge of hate mail, Hayhoe made a habit of reaching out to climate foes. Along with her husband Andrew Farley, she wrote A Climate for Change: Global Warming Facts for Faith-Based Decisions. She also authored 2014’s third National Climate Change Assessment for the National Academy of Sciences. Last year, Fortune magazine named Hayhoe one of the world’s 50 greatest leaders. While she frequently gives talks on climate science and faith, she often makes a point of keeping science out of her talks………..

Sierra: From a global perspective, the United States stands out for our considerable contingent of vocal climate change deniers. Why do you think this attitude is so uniquely American?

Katharine Hayhoe: There’s some of that sentiment in Australia as well, and in Alberta, the province known as the “Texas of Canada.” Interestingly, if you look across all countries’ fossil fuel resources and political positions on climate, you’ll find that economics doesn’t account for all of it. Fossil fuel influences certainly have an influence, but look at Norway—oil made them rich! One recent study concluded that the U.S. Republican Party is an anomaly. Social scientists study the characteristics of different cultures—some, for instance, are very hierarchical, some are very communal, and some are very independent. I can do it myself. If you correlate the predominance of rejection of climate science with the independence of the culture, I’d bet you anything you’d find a significant correlation. The U.S. is the most culturally independent country in the world, followed by Australia, and then Alberta is much more independent-minded than other Canadian provinces.

Where does this independence stem from?

It comes from the ruggedness of the terrain and the challenges that people had to overcome and endure—and the recency of those struggles.

…….  Of course, fighting climate change requires people to work together for the benefit of the entire community—to not just go it alone. When you try to talk climate action to resilient pioneer types, they’re often hearing that the government is gonna be their nanny and pick their car, set their thermostat, limit their water, and tell them what they can and can’t do. And rugged individualists do not need a nanny. They believe the government wants to take away their freedom, and what’s more American than freedom?…….

So how can you make tough, self-reliant, freedom-loving types care about climate change?

That’s the real problem because no one thinks it really matters. Even the people who think it’s really important don’t tend to think it affects them. Particularly if you’re not already a dyed-in-the-wool environmentalist, climate action has be be framed as something that’s a natural expression of something you already are—something that makes you feel like a better version of yourself. ……. So when we have these conversations, we need to start from a place of genuine appreciation of values we share with that person or that group……  https://www.sierraclub.org/sierra/katharine-hayhoe-reveals-surprising-ways-talk-about-climate-change

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March 21, 2018 - Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change

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