Many folks are talking about climate change, but I note much less evidence of people listening to each other. While talking is fine, listening is just as important. So, to move forward, we must be open to what the other guy is saying. I believe that the key to progress is a shared understanding of the problem. With this we can all pull together towards a common goal and avoid the barriers created by arguments and perceived disagreements.
We reveal a lot about ourselves in what we say and how we say it. As a result, if we listen to the other guy, they will tell us what they mean, their underlying concerns, and overall agenda. Sure, you say, “They are telling you already, aren’t they?” Often we try to achieve our goals without revealing our agenda in how we talk. But, embedded in all of those words is a message we can understand, only when we listen for it. Also, only when we understand the underlying message, can we have a meaningful discussion leading to concrete action.
To achieve our climate objectives, we must get beyond the guilt. In fact, resilience isn’t about feelings at all. Climate change poses a real physical threat to all of us. We are at risk, and that risk doesn’t care about our feelings. The threat remains.
When we deny climate risk, it is like denying cancer. I see people that pretend that cancer isn’t a risk, or if cancer is a risk, it’s trivial. They say:
By doing so, they convince themselves there is no cancer risk, and they are content. But, cancer is real and can get you no matter how hard your pretend it isn’t a threat. And, if it does, the pain and misery cancer causes is very real. This is not only about dying. Also, we must consider the quality of life. Ignoring risk doesn’t work!
This is the same for climate change. I contend the underlying message in most climate communication is fear. We tell each other about the fear when we talk, but we encrypt the message. We argue about “hockey sticks”, “climate plots”, and “oil company conspiracies”. However, none of this buzz is true. Folks are echoing words because the sound of those word soothes them. The words mask the underlying fear on both sides of the debate; fear of an unknown and uncertain future. But, to recognize the underlying message we have to stop talking. We need to listen too.
Resiliency is a choice you can make today. So, make climate a core part of your business strategy!
You are not alone. We are here to help and we are listening. So, ask questions. Seek the advice of climate risk and resiliency experts. We all have something valuable to offer.
We provide ongoing commentary on these issues. Feel free to contact us, we are always happy to listen to your climate, risk and resiliency concerns.
Our free NodelWorks course, How To Understand Each Other in Climate Resilience Work was released the week of July 1, 2019. Check out our other courses and digital downloads at NodelWorks, our self-directed training platform. Currently, most of our NodelWorks offerings are absolutely free. And, we will be announcing new, premium courses over the next few months.
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