Sightline: Wisdom for Talking to Kids About Climate Change



Original Sightline Institute graphic, available under our free use policy.

"When my daughter was four-and-a-half, she asked me point blank about climate change.

You’d think I’d be equipped for this conversation. After all, this is what I do for a living! For over a decade, I have studied the communications literature and issued dozens of talking points memos on climate challenges and solutions.

But her question left me speechless.

She had cracked open a heavily guarded vault of emotions. Everything I know and fear—and compartmentalize—about the planet’s prognosis, our broken systems, and fossil fuel politics was tied in a knot in my throat.
Think about it: dealing with climate change is about things kids already know well. It’s about cleaning up our messes; about the sun, wind, air, water, and our own bodies.

Nobody wants to frighten their kids. (We know even the most reasonable adults are shut down by fear.) But as the stakes grow more stark and the politics get more divisive, it’s more crucial than ever that we bring the full force of our emotions to this fight and that we raise active, community-minded, and environmentally-aware citizens. And, I believe, talking to our kids is one way to focus all our own difficult and powerful feelings in a way that fuels rather than saps our civic and political engagement."
Read the rest of the article here.
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(My continued gratitude to Carolyn Baker for sending articles such as these in her Daily News Digest. To sign up, go to carolynbaker.net.)

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