So let me share some thoughts for guiding controversial dinner table conversations on climate:
First of all, no one has ever changed their mind due to a single conversation. Therefore you primarily want to keep the peace and to strengthen your relationship with each other, and that starts with respect and active listening.
What you’ll be hearing will allow you to understand people’s deeper values, and that opens the opportunity to establish common ground in shared values and concerns – after all, don’t we all want to preserve a livable world and wish the best for our family?
There are valid concerns where people’s livelihoods are threatened, either in the boom-and-bust fossil fuel sectors or where tourist destinations lose their appeal and economic viability due to heat waves, toxic algae blooms, or terrible air pollution from unprecedented wildfires.
We’re in a crucial transition now. ‘Business as usual’ is simply not an option and denying this won’t serve us. We need to adopt a forward looking attitude, identify ways to make a difference, and commit to an active role.
Happy Holidays – and try to keep that conversation positive!
Martin Voelker, former 350Colorado board members, chair of the Jeffco chapter of the Colorado Renewable Energy Society, Jeffco chapter