It's OK, you can talk about climate change

In this edition: Talking with friends or neighbors about a polarizing issue may not be easy, but some experts see a need for more climate conversation; a lesson from Australia; the meaning of melting sea ice.

What we're writing

Dirk Notz/AP/File
In this April 2009 photo, ice floats in the Arctic near Svalbard, Norway.

If climate change comes up with family or friends ...

... It's OK to talk. There's actually a gap to be filled. Two-thirds of Americans are very or moderately interested in global warming. Yet two-thirds say they hear or talk about the issue only "several times a year or less." George Marshall of Climate Outreach, a British nonprofit that promotes public engagement with climate change, argues that “breaking the collective silence is ... a key to making headway on climate change.” // Mark Trumbull 

Trump wouldn't be first leader to oppose climate action

Donald Trump has made some statements moderating his stance on climate change this week, but he's still pushing a fossil-fuel revival. Canada and Australia are examples of what can happen when a leader does lay siege to climate policy and science. // Henry Gass

Sea ice at record low: why that's a big deal

Expected effects, according to scientists, include more absorbing of heat by oceans, and a wavier jet stream. // Rowena Lindsay

Most Americans support Paris climate deal

A new report finds that 71 percent of Americans want the United States to stay in the Paris climate deal, but views on whether climate change is a threat differ more widely. // Zhai Yun Tan

New voice for the climate? Teens in Washington State.

A lawsuit by students centers around Americans' collective responsibility to mitigate the effects of climate change. However that argument fares in court, researchers have found that portraying climate change as a collective challenge (rather than an individual burden) is a winning approach with the public, as measured by increased donations to environmental causes. // Rowena Lindsay

What we're reading

How four people fight deforestation in Borneo

The problem is massive. Their ideas are creative and determined. // Spiegel Online

Wildfires: hinting at a dry new normal in Appalachia?

Wildfires erupt in a dry spell that would be more typical in the American West. // PBS Newshour

The Arctic is a seriously weird place right now

In sunlight-free November, sea ice shrank. That stands out even in an age where climate change is often making outlier conditions the norm. // Climate Central

What's trending

US gasoline prices are second-lowest in eight years

Thanksgiving weekend is one of the heaviest travel times of the year. AAA predicted that 48.7 million people would be traveling 50 miles or more for the holiday in 2016, a rise of more than 1 million from last year and the most since 2007. Average pump prices are almost as low as last year, making them the second-lowest in eight years. // The US Energy Information Administration

Volkswagen's 2025 electric ambitions

"As a volume manufacturer, we intend to play a key role in the breakthrough of the electric car." // Volkswagen announcement, covered by Autoblog

Canada announces plan to phase out coal by 2030

"We know the world is moving to a low-carbon future.... This is part of it." // Canada's Federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna, quoted by BBC

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