Bring Climate Change Conversations to your Reading Group

When bringing climate change conversations into reading groups, it’s not necessary to read a full book. Timely articles are often the best way to start in-depth conversations.

Some suggestions for potential climate readings:

What is Climate Change?NASAIntroduction to climate change for families and children
Climate Science Special ReportU.S. Global Change Research ProgramA thorough report exploring components of climate change, can be divvied up to be read over several weeks
Public Understanding of Climate Change in the United StatesCenter for Science and Technology Policy ResearchAn in-depth report of the scientific community’s and general public’s understanding of climate change.

Guidelines for positive discussions:

  • One person speaks at a time while the others listen objectively and deeply, without planning your own response. Leave pauses between statements to give everyone a moment to consider what has been said. Be patient if a lot of people want to talk and it takes some time to get to you (perhaps write thought down so you don’t forget).
  • Avoid interrupting, cross talk, and side conversations. Allow each person a chance to speak and be heard.
  • Use “I” statements (I think… I feel… I wonder… I had an experience once…) rather than “you” statements or abstract theoretical arguments.
  • Speak and act courteously using respectful language void of prejudice or insult, especially when expressing dissent. Avoid personal attacks or evaluating someone else’s idea or behavior (You’re wrong/right.). Instead respond by sharing what bothers you about it, what you like, or what further thoughts it inspires in you.
  • Ask someone to clarify what they have said or try to rephrase it without judgment (I think I’m hearing you say…).
  • Stay open-minded and respect differing opinions. You may find you question your beliefs and re-evaluate previous assumptions. We seek to understand others and gain a broader knowledge of the full humanist spectrum.
  • Avoid broad, general statements and try to be as specific as possible with your observations and comments. Details resonate, and more easily allow the participants to make personal, meaningful connections.

Talking about climate at your reading group? Let us know.