The slow days of summer are coming to a close and we wanted to thank everyone who participated in our summer family action - Curious Climate Conversations. You practiced inserting the words "I'm curious ..." and "climate" while flexing your active listening skills.
We’ve heard from many of you! This action:
- prompted you to approach conversations differently
- made you realize your own feelings about climate conversations - sometimes it feels difficult to start any type of conversation that might relate to climate
- some of you feel nervous about where these conversations could lead - both with strangers and with people you know
We want to encourage you to keep experimenting and practicing. Keep connecting with others and listening for how or if their concerns and feelings might relate to climate change. And let us know how it goes, with our report back form or email: [email protected].
Highlights from your conversations
One For Our Kids parent was chatting on the beach with a stranger while on holiday and learned they were considering abandoning their gardening hobby because of climate impacts.
Another parent ran into a neighbor walking their dogs, when the outside temperature was well above 30 degrees. The dogs looked so hot! She learned that her neighbor was changing her schedule to try and walk the dogs at cooler times during the day and that she supported the idea of having more trees in other areas of town to help keep people and their dogs safer from heat. “Both of us were struggling too, but we had a brief conversation…Although it didn't end in a way I'd consider productive, I learned that even the attempt is worthwhile. Who knows what seeds may have been planted?".
My curious conversation experience happened a bit differently. I observed a non-curious conversation taking place between my husband and a family member, in a language I don’t speak. By just watching their body language and hearing their tones of voice change, I realized the more they debated the more disconnected they became. They both got frustrated and stopped listening. I thought about how it would have been different if they’d each asked questions instead of trying to convince the other person who was right. It made me reflect on many similar disagreements I’ve had over the years and how I could have handled them differently. It also made me consider strategy. If I know someone who’s a climate change denier, what values do we share that might help me reach them in a way that statistics and graphs cannot? I'm also considering trying a few role play exercises with a friend to practice staying curious when disagreement ensues.
Our summer action has passed but let's keep the curious conversation practice going.