Using YOUR Power
Practice the different ways you can talk about Climate Justice with friends and family.
By Deeds Not Words
How are you using your power to fight climate change? Are we discussing the right things, do we really know who, and what the problem is? Let’s learn about all the different ways we can upgrade our language when talking about Climate Change, with say this; not that examples to guide you.
We are fighting the wrong battle:
So much time and effort is put into informing the world of climate change. We keep hearing about it, and its negative effects. We keep re-stating the same problem over and over again without any solutions. However, we forget that the majority of the world’s population already knows it exists and it’s a human-made problem. Let’s start talking about taking action!
Say: “Climate change is a global crisis that requires our immediate attention. Let’s come together to fight for climate justice, join the XYZ campaign/organization to make a change!”
Not: “Climate change is causing so much destruction and harm to people all over the world. We should do something about it.”
We don’t make the impacts of climate change real for people:
When discussing climate change, we forget to mention that climate change can be seen in our backyard, our local park, and all over our city. We believe that climate change is something happening far away, in other countries, to people not like us. It’s time to open our eyes and accept its effects on us and our loved ones.
Say: “Did you know Texas has been hit by billion-dollar weather and climate disasters, more than any other state in the U.S. It’s time to start taking climate change seriously.”
Not: “So sad to hear about the floods happening in Pakistan, I heard the climate crisis is really bad in Asia.”
Our Urgency Exhausts People:
We must remember that the issue of climate change is urgent and needs action now! But when calling people to action we have to keep in mind that life is hard right now for everyone, people are struggling to make ends meet and get through the day. We must not scare them away with our passion and urgency to save the planet.
Say: “The effects of climate change are causing dislocation and unstable environments for people to live in. We appreciate anything you can do to help, no matter how big or small.”
Not: “People are losing their loved ones, and being forced to leave their homes, you must do everything you can to help the victims of climate change!”
We Don’t Assign a Villain:
Oftentimes climate change is blamed for the cause of destruction and hardship. We forget that the real villains are the fossil fuel CEOs, governments that refuse to regulate emissions, and other corporations that contribute to climate change. Humans must remember that we are the villains, not the other way around.
Say: “Communities have been devastated by high carbon emissions, which were caused by Mike Wirth, Chairman of the board and CEO of Chevron.”
Not: “We have to try our best to reduce our carbon footprint so it doesn’t result in climate change.”
We Don’t Talk about Solutions:
Climate change is often talked about without any solutions, we are not taught or informed what to do to stop climate change. We must make sure people know what we have achieved together, and give clear simple ideas for solutions that are digestible and impactful.
Say: “Climate activists came together and fought for the prohibition of natural gas hookups and fossil fuels in most new homes in New York City.”
Not: “Climate change is causing eco-anxiety and eco-paralysis. Someone should do something about it.”
We Think Fear Will Motivate People:
Fight, don’t freeze! It is normal for people to be afraid and hesitant when joining the climate change movement. This is why we have to include positivity while doing outreach for climate change and show them what we can do together. If our goal is to invite people into the climate movement, we have to get people to fight!
Say: “Let’s come together and try our best to be better and save our planet.”
Not: “Climate change is an endless vicious cycle! It’s between life or death!”
Remember that you are the movement towards change no matter how big or small. When we address our language and try to be better we are already a step towards change! So use your power to fight for Climate Justice.