Here are some ways to casually throw climate change into a conversation. This may lead to more discussion, or it may end there. What’s important is to bring up climate change whenever you can.
Someone comments on severe weather like the recent Heat Dome:
- “This frightens me so much. Even scientists never thought that climate change would get so bad so fast. It’s now or never to act.”
Someone comments on nice, but seasonally abnormal weather:
- “It’s great, but it’s not normal. It worries me that the climate’s changing so fast.”
You’ve had an interesting experience in nature:
- “Wow. I had such a great walk this morning. I saw and heard so many different birds. I just hope that my grandkids will be able to experience the same thing. It really worries me how climate change is affecting nature.
Someone telling you not to worry:
- “I know you’re trying to make me feel better, but this is how I feel. This is my experience, and these are my emotions. I believe the scientists, just like I do about viruses and vaccines.
You’ve taken a climate-friendly action:
- “I’ve just (fill in with action). It makes me feel better by doing this, but I know that individual actions like this won’t make any real difference to solving climate change. We need to force governments and corporations to change. (Note: talking about what you’ve done in this way can help avoid making it sound like virtue-signalling. Remember, though, that individual action is important when it influences others. Be sure to let others know of your climate-friendly actions, but frame them in terms of other benefits like making you feel better, health benefits, a way to save money in the long run, etc.)
Someone alludes to you being a hypocrite:
- “Yeah, you’re right. I DO feel like a hypocrite. But what choice do we have? We live in a carbon-based society. That’s why it’s so important to pressure governments to transform our society to one based on carbon-free energy and to do so as quickly as possible. Little individual actions like refusing to fly won’t make a difference.”
Other phrases to consider:
- “Everything that science predicted about climate change is coming true, only faster than they thought.”
- “I’m worried that my children and grandchildren will be living in a very harsh and unstable climate.”
- “I got an EV because I was feeling guilty about leaving a trail of CO2 behind me every time I went somewhere.”
- “I don’t know all the facts, but I do know that 99% of scientists accept the science of climate change. I believe them. If they were wrong about the fundamentals we’d know it by now.”
- “Governments will only act if we put pressure on them. They follow public sentiment more than shape it. They have to know there are votes to be had by being aggressive on climate change.”
- “Government representatives don’t understand the science of climate – we need to tell them what we know.”
- “We can’t solve climate change with individual action – look how long people’s New Year’s resolutions last. People drove and flew far less during Covid, but emissions hardly went down.”
- “What about the batteries? Isn’t that worse? Well, EV batteries are warranted to last at least 8 years, and when they are not longer suitable for a car they can still be used in your home to store power from solar panels.”
- “We can’t avoid feeling like a hypocrite – we live in a carbon-based economy. We do what we can do. It’s not all or nothing. What we should all be doing, though, is telling politicians we want aggressive action.”