Before we can convince the American public to walk the walk on climate action, we've got to get our supporters to talk the talk. This Guide page lays out how advocates can build a relational climate conversations (RCCs) program to inspire supporters to take this most basic and neglected action: letting family members, friends, and neighbors know that they are not alone in caring about climate change, and that there are ways to face this crisis if they act together. Download the most recent version of this slidedeck here.
- You are not alone: While the American public is largely concerned about climate change and willing to take action, people isolate themselves by not talking about the issue in their daily lives.
- It helps to reach out: Advocates can help break this spiral of silence by encouraging their supporters to have frank and open conversations about climate change with the people who trust them most.
- Know your audience: Supporters should select people in their lives who they know (or suspect) to care about climate change and may just need a personal touch to engage further on the issue.
- Bring it on home: Some particular messages that might play well include discussing local impacts and solutions to climate change, and reinforcing that there’s room for hope on the issue if actions are taken.
- Listen up, folks: While supporters should go into conversations prepared, they ought to start by listening to how their friend to family member perceives the issue and adapt accordingly.
- Keep it constructive: Climate conversations might get fraught, and that’s ok. Train your supporters to deal with conflict and redirect it into productive conversation.
- Infrastructure matters: Organizations should steady their supporters to initiate conversations with training, check-ins, and emotional support programs like “buddying them up” beforehand.
- A path to transformation: A successful relational climate conversations program can help your supporters and their loved ones’ feel more ready and eager to take bigger climate actions and feel supported doing so.