Want to Change Minds About Climate Change? Think Perspective
Updated: Jun 23
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One of the world’s experts on people’s perspectives on global warming and climate change, Anthony Leiserowitz, Ph.D., asserts that younger people can make a difference in the perspectives of the older generation simply by asking them to become more involved. Indeed, according to this senior research scientist at the Yale School of the Environment and director of the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication, kids need to have “the talk” with their parents. Yes, the talk about climate change. Young people’s advocacy, however, shouldn’t stop there. Dr. Leiserowitz also believes that students need to demand that climate change be part of their school curriculum; they need to advocate through their teachers, principals, and even PTA.
But even before starting the conversation, Dr. Leiserowitz asserts that we must seek to understand to which of six perspectives our “audience” belongs. And a critical part of understanding their perspective is to listen. Yes, listen! Currently, anyone can develop a platform to express his or her views (i.e., a 16-year-old Earth Blogger), creating a culture of too many people speaking but not necessarily listening. Only once we understand the perspective of our audience, says Dr. Leiserowitz, can we adjust our conversation so that it is most productive. What are the six different perspectives he’s found in the United States population?
There are people who are ...
• alarmed (likely those reading this blog);
• doubtful; or
Indeed, a person’s perspective is absolutely critical when discussing climate change. For more details, listen to this blogger’s interview with Dr. Leiserowitz. I hope you find yourself as inspired by his words as I was. (Interview below)
Website: Alliance for Climate Education
Podcast: Yale Climate Connections