The final session discussed how we communicate with others about Climate Change. We were asked to consider examples of bad and good conversations we had experienced. We considered some of the reasons that make it so difficult to engage in conversation: busy-ness, it’s all about the future rather than the here and now, it demands self-sacrifice with no benefit for me.
We went on to consider our own initial reservations about approaching the topic: fears about upsetting those closest to us, our sense of ignorance, never knowing enough to present a persuasive argument. We then shared what gave us positive support. Some found that being part of a group provided a network of resources. Others talked of the cost-saving arguments for low carbon energy use. What is most helpful is to frame the problem in terms of things that can be done now.
We followed up with a listening exercise in pairs where people were encouraged to listen to the other without interrupting them or listening selectively in order to ask questions. We recognised the importance of speaking from our own experience , “telling our story”,rather than using ideas alone as a means of engaging with people.
Finally, we reflected on what we had found useful about our six weeks together. We shared how we had become empowered to make changes in our lives and how sharing our feelings about the process was so important. We celebrated with a meal that members brought to share and planned how we will keep in touch and meet up again in the future. Thanks, once again, to everyone for their contribution. Great to have your presence in the final session, Charles, as one of the founding figures. Thanks especially to Ben, for providing his home as an intimate space in which we could all share and reflect in an atmosphere of trust.