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

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

QR Code to It's OK, you can talk about climate change
Read this article in
https://www.csmonitor.com/Environment/Inhabit/2016/1128/It-s-OK-you-can-talk-about-climate-change
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today
https://www.csmonitor.com/subscribe