On Saturday June 17 WIldsight Golden hosted its first climate cafe at Jita’s cafe. Climate cafes are an informal space for people to talk about climate change, particularly in regards to its solutions.
Creating these spaces for climate change conversations is extremely important as climate change is often a topic that people shy away from; it can be a polarizing and divisive issue at times.
Even if it’s a topic that most people don’t aim to talk about, it’s critical that it still happens. Conversation is often said to be an important first step to action in regards to the climate crisis. The idea is that after having a conversation about climate change and what we can do to address it people are then more likely to take action in their personal lives and in their communities. Participants might also be more confident in continuing to talk about climate change afterwards, whether it’s to their peers, partner, coworkers or family.
Climate cafes also help the climate emergency stay pertinent in the mainstream public consciousness, as it isn’t talked about nearly enough in the media or from government leaders.
“The most important thing you can do (to fight climate change) right now is the exact thing we are not doing: talk about it”, says climate scientist Dr. Katharine Hayhoe.
Climate change like many other things has unfortunately turned into a partisan issue, similar to pandemic restrictions or gun policy. The key to having a meaningful discussion on climate according to Hayhoe is to connect over shared values like family, community and religion- and to prompt people to realize they already care about a changing climate.
Climate change affects everyone, albeit in different ways, regardless of one’s background or political orientation. The fact is you don’t have to be a liberal tree hugger to care about climate.
“We have to go out and look for the hope we need to inspire us to act”, Hayhoe says. “And that hope begins with a conversation, today.”
Wildsight Golden will be hosting its next climate ‘cafe’ at Whitetooth brewery on Tuesday July 18.