Climate Chat aims to share the best knowledge on how to talk about climate change. According to the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, climate change poses “the greatest challenge of our time.” Burning fossil fuels and clearing forests has released enormous sums of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. These gases are trapping heat, leading to a rise in the average surface temperature of the Earth. This, in turn, is destabilizing our climate. Over the coming century, we can expect more frequent and intense heat waves, droughts and cyclones, as well as rising sea levels (International Panel on Climate Change, 2013).
This could have disastrous consequences for our way of life, hurting biodiversity, human health and global security. At the current rate, 20 to 30 percent of plant and animal species risk extinction before the end of this century (Fishlin et al., 2007). Warmer weather will facilitate the spread of deadly diseases (USGCRP, 2009). And, historically, rising temperatures have spurred violence and institutional breakdowns (Hsiang, Burke, & Miguel, 2013). In short, unchecked climate change will have catastrophic consequences for life on this planet.
We have yet to do what is necessary to dramatically reduce human-caused climate change. If we want to see real lasting change, we need to make climate change a political priority. That means persuading people to take action. This website is a guide for concerned citizens and advocates who want to talk about climate change. Share what you learn with your friends and family.
If you have any questions or comments, please email JDeaton@climatenexus.org.