Changing the way we talk about climate change.


Over the last few weeks, I have been incredibly fortunate to speak to numerous people on subjects that inspire me. You know those conversations that light fire in your soul, that make you think of things outside of your immediate world, that force you to think of faith. I love these conversations – I really relish in them.

I think it’s pretty clear that I love talking about Kiribati (hello over six years of writing on the subject) and a conversation that keeps running around in my mind is ‘how should we be talking about climate change’? I love language and how it can be used to inspire, but to be honest – I’m over the climate change conversation.

I understand the research. I’ve read numerous articles – I’ve listened to government statements and reports.  The Australian government and their (in)action to fully commit to moving Australia towards a more sustainable country is frustrating and so disappointing on so many levels. I want to believe that we are a strong and smart enough country to move away from mining and yet the Australian government allows themselves to be strangled by mining dollars rather than ‘what is right’. I could go on and on but this isn’t the point I want to make.

The point is, is that while I fully appreciate that we need scientific support and language to comprehend out climate future, I think we need a another set of words to speak about climate change.  Even ‘climate change’ itself. It’s a word that is thrown around every day, I’m worried that people will forget the weight of its meaning. To a lot of people, the connotation with it brings up a political argument. And then where does that get us? Arguing rather than actually working together.

The change in our climate is understanding our way of life is going to change. Our environment isn’t going to be reliable. People, communities and countries will have to change their way of living on this earth.

Kiribati airport

I want people to start realising that they are talking ‘climate change’ when they talk about our relationship to weather – seasons, hot suns, big storms, torrential rain, warm winter days.

In actual fact, there is a part of me that wants to start using the ‘climate change’ term all together. I want to simplify the conversation to something new, to something that people really connect with.

Think of…

… predictable seasons, fresh air, lasting health, stable weather, healthy living, fresh produce, thriving rainforests, native animals, outside living, local businesses, clean water…

…they’re all words we use and yet this all relates to ‘climate change’ and the life we could/should be living.

Kiribati reef

Our vocabulary needs to revolve to something more tangible, something that the wider community can relate to. Until then, we’re preaching to the converted and we’re not working together as a community.

What do you think? I’m I rattling on or do you agree?

One Comment Add yours

  1. Marie says:

    i had a reflection with my schoolchilds. They discovered that the climate change meant for certain people. They looked for solutions to be brought to live better by respecting more the planet. The next day they already put into practice their reflection. Before this word “climate change” had no sense a word complicated among others. We must be more conscious and more actor of our future…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s