Greening your job often means talking about sustainability and climate solutions at work. But how do you talk about climate change when your boss doesn’t get it — and doesn’t want to hear it?
On today’s show, climate communication rock star Dr. Katharine Hayhoe shares her own journey learning how to do some of the most difficult planet-saving work there is: learning how to talk about climate change across political, emotional, geographical, and generational divides.
Dr. Katharine Hayhoe is an atmospheric scientist and the best-selling author of Saving Us: A Climate Scientist's Case for Hope and Healing in a Divided World, host of the PBS digital series Global Weirding, and chief scientist at The Nature Conservancy. Considered a Canadian polar bear where she lives in Texas, you’ll hear how Dr. Hayhoe has approached conversations on climate with everyone from women’s book clubs, to church groups, to college students taking jobs in oil and gas. Through listening and finding common ground, she’s persuaded all kinds of people to help save the planet. And you can too!
Dr. Katharine Hayhoe’s research focuses on understanding what climate change means for people and the places where we live. She is the Horn Distinguished Professor of Public Policy and Public Law at Texas Tech University. Her book Saving Us: A Climate Scientist's Case for Hope and Healing in a Divided World, followed her 2018 TED Talk, “The most important thing you can do to fight climate change: talk about it.” The Guardian called her “a committed Christian who has gained a reputation for being able to reach across the most partisan of political divides.” ‘
Resources from this episode:
- For climate communication and advocacy trainings, check out the Science Network Workshop Series from the Union of Concerned Scientists and read Work for Climate’s tips for talking about climate change at work.
- Subscribe to Talking Climate, Dr. Hayhoe’s weekly newsletter for good news, not so good news, and things you can do about climate change.
- Follow Dr. Hayoe on TikTok @dr.katharine and watch her PBS series Global Weirding for fact-based, practical, and hopeful lessons on climate change.
- If you want to push climate solutions from “the inside” of a workplace that is not doing anything, make sure you have a support network elsewhere. Try the Action Network’s Our Climate Voices or find your local Net Impact chapter.
- To understand more about how people in the US feel about climate change, and how it influences their actions, read this study from the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication. It will help you think about your approach beyond a believer versus denier binary.
- Dr. Hayoe recommends finding common ground through the things you love to do or ways you identify. For instance, she started a group called Science Moms, and recommends a blog called Fossil Free Football.
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