Julia Corbett, University of Utah professor, speaks about the challenges of communicating climate change.
The problem of communicating climate change is not one of insufficient knowledge, but an acute inability to deal with the knowledge we have. The inability stems from deep emotions that trigger the myriad ways we ignore and deny the crisis, individually and as a culture. The result is climate silence at the dinner table and partitioning climate change news as distant and unrelated to everyday life. The inability also stems from conceptualizing “health” as residing in the human body and not utterly entwined with the health of the living world. Beliefs of separation delude us into thinking that the harms we inflict on the living world won’t harm us. New directions (informed by communication and a wide range of disciplines) include widespread climate conversations, alternative narratives that disrupt the existing social inertia, inclusion of a moral imperative, and fresh ways to engage people’s hearts, minds, and hands.
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