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?||NASA||Introduction to climate change for families and children|
|Climate Science Special Report||U.S. Global Change Research Program||A 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 States||Center for Science and Technology Policy Research||An 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.