Skip to main content

Tips on Talking about Climate Change

Photo courtesy of DearTomorrow.
A fundamental part of Climate Ride’s mission is to get people talking about ways to take action on climate change. Many folks who do our events report back that fundraising gave them the impetus to have conversations they never would have otherwise. Personal chats are more likely to move people into action than almost anything else, according to the best research out there. That’s one of the reasons why we’re excited to have DearTomorrow joining our list of Beneficiary Partners! Since 2015, DearTomorrow has been working hard to help people use art, storytelling, and meaningful conversations to shift behavior around climate change. They’ve kindly shared some of their insights to help Climate Riders get meaningful conversations going:
  1. Focus on the important people in your life. When it comes to the issue of climate change, research shows that we tend to trust people that we’re close to. This means that you can have the most impact on your family, friends, and co-workers.
  2. Reflect on why you care. At DearTomorrow, we’ve developed a reflection and writing process to help people of all ages think more deeply about why they care about the climate crisis. We’ve collected thousands of personal letters written to children, family friends, and future selves about their deepest concerns about the climate crisis, visions for the future, and bold actions they are taking. Write your own DearTomorrow letter to help you reflect and share your story.
  3. Use emotion and stories. People are more likely to change their minds when presented with a story rather than complex policies and scientific figures. Speak from the heart and talk about what you care most about– the people and places you love that you want to protect from the worst impacts of climate.
  4. Ask questions and listen. When you get to chatting about why you care, it’s important to remember to make space listen to the people you are talking with. Take a pause from your own story and ask questions about what they care about. This can be a great way to open a climate conversation, as Climate Rider Dave Morris shared with us after his recent cross country trip devoted to gathering climate perspectives.
  5. Focus on people who already care; forget the trolls. Climate conversations don’t need to be about trying to convince climate deniers. The knowledge-action gap remains large: a 2021 Yale Climate Opinion Map found 72% of Americans believe that climate change is happening, yet only 35% discuss global warming “at least occasionally”. The more we talk about climate change with other people who are concerned, the more likely all of us are to take meaningful action.
  6. It’s important to dream and have fun when talking about climate. Climate conversations don’t need to be dire, painful, and serious. It’s ok to open up to a fun conversation on climate where you put some energy into imagining a better future. In fact, it’s a necessary step! As DearTomorrow’s co-founder, Jill Kubit said “If we can’t imagine it, how will we get there?”
Dave on his Climate Courage Tour to gather perspectives on climate.
DearTomorrow joined Climate Ride as part of their three year fundraising strategy to scale the project in countries around the world. We are so excited to have them as a partner this fall as they continue to expand their educational and arts programming in the US and around the world. Write your own letter and follow their work on Instagram (@deartomorrow) to get updates about their digital storytelling collection, upcoming Futures Workshops, and immersive exhibits. Their next exhibit launches on November 5th at the Wolverhampton Art Gallery in the UK. More about DearTomorrow DearTomorrow motivates people to care about and act on climate through storytelling, educational, and arts experiences which inspire connectedness and bold action on a global scale. This strategy is grounded in behavioral science research, which demonstrates the impact of storytelling and emotional connection in spurring climate action. To write your own letter: Think of a person who is important in your life – your child, a friend, a family member or your future self. Imagine it is 2050 and they receive a letter from you written today. Your letter shares your thoughts about climate change and your promise to take bold climate action today to ensure they have a safe and healthy world. Write your letter today and upload it to