While the weather is a popular topic for small talk, climate change as an environmental issue isn’t typically considered a dinner table conversation — but Susan Joy Hassol is on a mission to change that.
On Tuesday, Hassol spoke to a crowd of students, staff and community members for the 2018 Earth Day Keynote address, hosted by Sustainability @ UNC.
“We often talk climate change as an environmental issue,” Hassol said. “But it’s not just an environmental issue because if you don’t think of yourself as an environmentalist, as most Americans don’t, you might think it’s not your issue. So I think it’s really important to remember that this is a story, the climate change story, that’s about our people, our economy, our food, our water, our security, our safety and our way of life.”
Hassol’s career as a climate change communicator, analyst and author has manifested itself through various platforms. Hassol is the director of Climate Communication, works for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and is an communication adviser for the World Meteorological Organization. She has given a talk on Science and Solutions for a Tedx event at the University of Montana and was the senior science writer on all three National Climate Assessments.
In order to effectively connect scientists and the public, Hassol advised to connect on values, seek common ground, engage trusted voices, change the narrative and focus on other benefits.