The topic of climate change can feel overwhelming. When faced with the possible extinction of species, sea level rise, and other massive changes, it is no wonder the feelings are strong. Feelings can include denial, fear, anger, hope, sadness, hopelessness and resolve. How can we have a personal, respectful conversation with each other about the future when emotions are running high?

In this program that recently aired on the public radio show, Climate One, Six Seconds CEO Josh Freedman does some useful framing of the topic and how we might approach communicating about it from an emotionally intelligent perspective.

When asked about how to talk with someone who has strong opposing views and feelings about climate change, Josh said,

” I wonder if it’s almost like in order to influence somebody who disagrees with you, you have to be willing to be wrong yourself. Like if I’m so certain that I know that this is a crisis and I’m talking to somebody who knows it’s not a crisis, I’m asking them to change, am I willing to change?”

Host Greg Dalton asked Josh about facing something that is at its heart uncomfortable.He replied,

 “I think I think there’s a real paradox here because I think a lot of us feel this growing sense of urgency. And, you know, we’re reaching this tipping point where there’s — and the notion that we can at the same time feel urgent and say, you know what, I can’t just sit back and wait while at the same time, you know, taking this kind of disarmed stance and like treating this as a neutral topic.”

Arguably the greatest issue of our time, hear the rest of the program about handling feelings about climate change on Climate One here: http://bit.ly/1SkVqVE

Rachel Goodman

Peabody Award-winning broadcaster and communications professional, editor, producer, and writer for effective outcomes. Ms. Goodman has been a radio producer for much of her career, specializing in short features and documentaries. Some of her work includes Southern Songbirds: the Women of Early Country Music, Pastures of Plenty: A History of California's Farmworkers, and The Boomtown Chronicles: Reflections on a Changing California. Ms. Goodman teaches journalism at Cabrillo College in Santa Cruz County. Her goals are to facilitate positive change in the world through effective communication, and to continue conducting her work with the highest level of integrity possible.