Climate Conversations Project: an introduction

NQCC's Vision for Townsville

NQCC has been working towards a paradigm shift around climate change for several years - just like many other environment organisations throughout the world. While collectively we have raised awareness and brought it to the forefront of people's minds, we are up against the powers of the coal lobby and conservative media and as such have failed in achieving solid positive outcomes for climate action.

That's why we're changing our tactics. 

We humans are unique creatures who forge our own ideas and views from varying experiences and differing backgrounds. This uniqueness has allowed us to do so many wonderfully different things. However, one thing we all have in common is that we share this great planet together. If the current COVID-19 situation has taught us anything, it’s that we are all connected and there is a great necessity to tackle global issues together.

Climate change poses a significant threat to our precious planet and ultimately our livelihood. The science is very clear on this but what do you say to those people who don’t agree, or don’t think it’s their problem? What about the people who do agree climate change is real but don’t think anything they do can help solve the issue? We need to be engaging with people to break down some of these barriers.

Many of us have found ourselves in downward spiralling conversations with people who want to argue all the reasons why climate change isn’t real. There are many misconceptions floating around about climate change that stick in people’s minds and create doubt around the science. This has led to a polarised community thanks to anti-climate change propaganda and some political messaging. So how do we close the gap, and how can climate change be viewed as an everyone-issue? This is how the Climate Conversations Project was born.

The goal of the project is to understand a broad range of viewpoints within our community to work out ways in which we can destigmatise climate change through positive framing of actions that will lead us to lower emissions and a much more sustainable future. The aim is not to know every little fact and turn every individual into a passionate “greenie” - the idea is to engage with the community on a personal level to invoke more and more positive interactions and give people a greater understanding of one’s ability to make a positive difference for the planet. Positive interactions lead to sharing of ideas, which breaks down walls, creating more effective ways of hearing differing views so then we can show people our ideas for a more sustainable Townsville.

Firstly, we are providing training sessions to try to inspire people to not be afraid to interact with people who may have differing views than their own and develop conversational techniques that are effective when talking about climate change and climate related issues. Through the power of conversation with calmness and clarity, change towards progress can be made.

In keeping with our current physical distancing requirements, the training is conducted via a webchat platform as well as ongoing interactions with people via virtual methods. Volunteers are encouraged to get involved with this exciting project to help shift Townsville to a more sustainable community, doing positive things for the planet.

If you would like any more information please contact our Climate Conversations Coordinator, Tessa Hodge at: [email protected].

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