A Scientist’s Guide to Finding Hope
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Climate change often feels like a larger-than-life problem that most people will never make a dent in. It’s easy to feel discouraged by the thought of wanting to help, but not knowing where to begin.
In a recent podcast, PERC President and CEO Tucker Perkins and guest Dr. Katharine Hayhoe discuss her new book, A Climate Scientist’s Case for Hope and Healing in a Divided World. The chief scientist at The Nature Conservancy and a professor at Texas Tech University, Dr. Hayhoe says the book addresses the questions she gets asked most often: How do we talk about divisive issues like climate change, and where do we find hope to keep us going?
She suggests the best way to keep the peace when dealing with contentious topics is by talking face-to-face. In today’s digital world, people often feel like they can say and do whatever they want with little consequence because they’re hidden behind a screen. In person, however, they’re more likely to listen and less likely to be rude, leading to more productive conversations.
How does Dr. Hayhoe believe we can stay hopeful about climate change? “When we say ‘Hey, what could we do together to make a difference?’, that’s where action happens and that’s where, I believe, hope starts,” she explains. By being vocal about the things we care about, we can start to make others in our communities aware as well. We find hope by recognizing that there are actions we can take today that will make a difference in the future.