I find myself stuffing my mouth full of mashed potatoes every Thanksgiving to keep my sarcastic retorts at bay as everyone nimbly navigates "polite" conversation topics—at least until the pie is cut and I can find a corner where I can stuff my face in peace.
In today’s world, even the weather can be an unsafe topic, especially when it reveals your family’s token climate change denier. (Don’t worry—we all have one.) While we may all know a climate change skeptic, more Americans believe climate change is real and caused by human activity. Despite awkward holiday arguments and political actions that seem to show otherwise, we are making progress. People are having productive conversations about climate change that are influencing the way others think.
So how are they doing it?
California lawyer and author Doug Noll, J.D., M.A., says that the first step to opening up a tricky conversation is to make the environment a safe space and find some common ground. If you’re not sure where to start, try one of these approaches: