Climate Cafés at Mass Audubon

Climate Cafe - Youth Summit - Phil Doyle
© Phil Doyle

One of the most important actions individuals can take to help fight climate change is to talk about it with friends, family, and others in their immediate community. And the most effective way to talk about climate change is by talking about locally-relevant impacts.

Most Americans want to understand more about climate change or want to discuss what it means to them. Most Americans also believe that relatively few people want to talk about it. This creates a conversation gap, with people afraid to bring up the topic for any number of reasons, and people feeling they have no agency to act on solutions or expertise to speak to the climate change issues they care about. 

The Climate Cafés model—which has been used many times around the globe—provides a way for people to discuss climate change in a judgment-free, informal environment with other people in their community. By doing so, they gain valuable practice in conversing about the topic, and are more likely to talk about it in their own individual social circles. 

The more people talk about it in their day-to-day lives, the more they increase awareness and socially validate climate change as a worthwhile topic. Adding your voice to the conversation, driven by your values (whatever they are), helps people find comfort in numbers and propels them to action and further engagement.