Thankfully there are now many excellent Australian-specific resources and international approaches to help us effectively engage others on the climate crisis.
Breakthrough short guides
The top of our list are the short guides produced by Breakthrough- the National Centre for Climate Restoration. Breakthrough is an independent Australian think tank that develops critical thought leadership to influence the climate debate and policy making.
Breakthrough’s new short guide series are quick and easy to read, with most only a few pages long. They include:
- Climate emergency explored
- How to communicate a climate emergency
- Understanding Climate emergency & local government
- How to explain emergency mode climate action
- How to mobilise for the climate emergency
- How to reverse global warming
- How to understand 1.50C climate science
‘How to communicate a climate emergency' is a great guide to start with, so we’ve copied the text here so you can use the ideas and information in your communication.
Download all of the free guides from https://www.breakthroughonline.org.au/guides
The Future We Choose - Surviving the Climate Crisis
This short and easy to read book is the go-to for anyone concerned about the climate crisis.
It is a practical, optimistic, empowering and passionate call to arms on surviving the Climate Crisis, from former UN Executive Secretary for Climate Change, Christiana Figueres, and Tom Rivett-Carnac, senior political strategist for the Paris Agreement.
Visit the website Global Optimism to find out where to buy The Future We Choose- Surviving the Climate Crisis.
The Global Optimism Facebook page is also a good source of international information.
Psychology for a Safe Climate
Founded in 2010, Psychology for a Safe Climate are a not-for-profit Melbourne based organisation that formed in response to the lack of individual and community engagement with climate change. Using their professional knowledge as psychologists and helping professionals, their aim is to increase understanding and engagement with climate change.
Their workshops, presentations, and publications increase understanding of the psychology behind the challenges and difficulties of engagement with climate change; foster psychological support and self care; and help improve communication on climate change.
Their publications relating to climate change communication include:
- Let’s speak about climate change
- Facing the Heat- stories of climate change conversations
Download these free publications from https://www.psychologyforasafeclimate.org/publications
The Psychology for a Safe Climate Facebook page also post their talks, newsletters and other useful resources.
National Climate Emergency Summit
In February 2020, the National Climate Emergency Summit in Melbourne brought together Australian and international scientists, psychologists, researchers, communicators, lawyers, doctors, fire fighters, economists, business people, politicians and activists. It presented workshops, panel discussions and debates that tackled critical issues spanning the political, economic, technical, and social change dimensions of initiating and carrying out a full-scale response to the climate emergency.
At the end of the summit a Safe Climate Declaration was initiated by Kerryn Phelps, John Hewson, Peter Garret, Carmen Lawrence, Ian Dunlop, Tim Costello and Greg Mullins. This Declaration calls for a new approach to climate action in Australia, a response to match the scale of the threat as climate-warming impacts escalate across Australia and around the world. AAEE NSW is one of the 3,280 signatories to the Safe Climate Declaration.
You can watch and listen to the main stage and breakout sessions here to get up to speed on what the climate crisis means for Australia and how we all have a role to play in shaping Australia’s emergency transition.
The session of great relevance to environmental educators was ‘Getting the message right: framing emergency threat and response’.
This session brought Margaret Klein Salamon - Founding director of The Climate Mobilization, Rebecca Huntley - Australian social researcher and expert on social trends and Richie Merzian - Director Climate & Energy Program at The Australia Institute.
This panel discussed the power of language and how the way we frame an issue has the ability to ignite or switch people off. When the way we communicate has a big effect on attitudes and reactions, how do we get the climate message right to successfully mobilise people at the necessary scale and speed of action? How do we effectively communicate the scale and speed of action that is now required? How do we navigate the delicate terrain of facts, fear, courage, identity and reality?
Click here to listen to the podcast of ‘Getting the message right: framing emergency threat and response’ from the 2020 National Climate Emergency Summit.