Have a conversation, reverse climate change

In this political climate, there is an enormous number of arguments going around and we all have our own stances on them. 

Unfortunately, many arguments turn into frustration, curses and name-calling at best. One argument I frequently take part in is whether or not climate change is a human induced problem. People who deny climate change do so for a reason, which is predominately because of a misunderstanding of science. Luckily, there are a number of ways to relate better to the deniers and get your message across.

First, take a deep breath; the denier is still a human being. There are real, psychological reasons why people deny climate change, especially when it is tied to anthropogenic causes. 

When you tell a denier their coal-burning power plant is polluting the air, changing the climate and that they should shut it down, their first thought is likely about their finances. Assuming most, if not all, of their money came from that coal-burning power plant, they’re unlikely to stop out of fear for their financial well-being. So, the easiest way for them to cope with this realization is to reject the idea that humans are causing climate change, therefore protecting their income and livelihood. 

Overall, it’s better to deny than to face the uncertainty that comes with change.

Regardless of whether or not that’s their reasoning, there are strategies you can use to reach their logic. 

First, assuming their motivations are economic, you can use that to your advantage! There are a large number of economic benefits to using renewable energy, the most obvious being that it’s renewable where fossil fuels are not. Fossil fuels will run out, and as that gets closer, it will likely become more expensive and cause more wars. By investing in renewable energy now we will save more money in the long run. We have the technology; we just have to convince people to wean off fossil fuels and transition to renewables. 

Second, you can also use their humility to your advantage. Climate change, as predicted, will cost a number of people their lives. With climate change comes increasing incidences of wildfires, like the one seen in Tennessee in 2016, along with increased flooding, like we’ve already seen this year in California. These are only two examples of things that will kill hundreds of people if climate change continues. We can save lives by reducing our greenhouse gas emissions and essentially become heroes for shutting down coal-burning power plants.

Finally, you can also appeal to society’s universal values. I was always told to leave a room or house better than I found it, which can easily be applied to the Earth! Our parents and grandparents did not have the science we do now, so they didn’t think of the consequences of their actions against the environment. We have a unique opportunity to fix that with new technology and science, thus leaving it better than we found it. 

Scientists have reached a consensus and climate change is caused by human actions. Understanding this is good news though, because that means we CAN do something about it. We have new technology and other scientific advancements that can fix some of the issue we have caused. By using these strategies, we can have a better conversation with deniers and reduce their presence in our society, thus leading to a better, healthier Earth. 

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