Human psychology is one of the biggest obstacles to greater understanding and action on climate. Perhaps the climate issue is too closely associated with the faces of polar bears rather than humans when climate is a profoundly human story. It touches on our deepest fears and desires whether we recognize it or suppress it. Research and practice in psychology is advancing guidance on how to understand and talk about climate change, and how not to talk about it. A hint – getting angry and trying to change people’s minds is not the answer. The keys are genuine listening and empathy.
Psychologists Bryant Welch, Leslie Davenport, and climate engagement strategist Renee Lertzman focus on how to talk with your family and friends on “the other side” of the climate debate, and offer approaches to dealing with the anxieties about climate change felt by many.