If you want to convert a climate skeptic

Excerpt from Bill Moyers and Katharine Hayhoe and a talk by Dr. Hayhoe

“Where we have to start is by recognizing that this is… not [about] a lack of access to information or facts or data or charts or figures,” Hayhoe said. “It is a heart issue and it is an identity issue. So somehow, as of the last couple of years, climate change has become the most politically polarized issue in the country, to where people literally feel that I cannot be who I am if my opinion about climate change changes.”

Speaking to the Union Theological Seminary students, Hayhoe outlined her strategy for discussing climate. “When we talk to people,” she said, “the first thing to do is to identify a genuine shared value and belief, or something you agree on. It’s probably not their politics. But it could be something as simple as we’re both parents, we love our kids. It could be something as simple as we live in the same place. It could be the fact that we enjoy doing a certain activity. Or it could be that we have a heart for people who are suffering from poverty or from hunger or from issues in developing countries. There are many ways that we can genuinely bond, connect on that issue, establish that we have that shared heart.”

The important thing, Hayhoe explained, is for the other person to understand that “not only are you listening to them, but you respect them and you understand that they’re a good person. Because so often there is this thing that you’re not a good person if you don’t agree with me.”

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