Bridging Polar(ized) Perspectives

Enabling a productive dialogue on climate change

How do we have productive conversations about climate change with people whose views are different from our own? Can conducting the climate change conversation at a local community level help to forward the national dialogue?

For some of us the implications of climate change are so urgent that they demand immediate action. For others of us, global warming produces a wide range of responses including apathy, guilt, fear, boredom or vigorous opposition. How do we restart a conversation that has become so polarized?

February’s session (our third now at The Moment studios) started with an exercise to identify values and principles concerning climate change to discover how our selected language might distance others.  In groups we explored barriers to communication and countering these barriers with questions and bridges. A variety of strategies were explored for effective climate change communication.

The Host: Sheila Murray is a writer, documentary filmmaker and communications specialist.  She has an MA in Immigration and Settlement Studies where her research focused on climate change migrants. Sheila believes that climate change can be a catalyst for significant social and cultural change. Her communications model encourages individuals to engage in small-group dialogue about climate change with people like themselves. As they engage they will connect with others who are already working on numerous climate change issues and solutions and may even become part of a civic community that supports those actions.