State government officials are encouraging people to avoid large Thanksgiving gatherings due to the pandemic. Even people who do choose to attend more intimate, socially distanced Thanksgiving celebrations may still come across a climate change denier.
There are a variety of strategies to survive these conversations if climate change somehow happens to come up. The conspiracy theory-minded family member is common in America, and they are very passionate about what they’ve read. Two-thirds of Americans know climate change is real and indisputable, but one-third of Americans is still over a hundred million family members. There is a large-scale amount of conspiracy theorists in the United States.
If family members call climate change a hoax, maybe ask a few genuinely interested questions: “Ho would increase carbon dioxide levels not affect the planet? Why does the average global temperature keep rising? What about 17 of the 18 hottest years that occurred this century? Why is the arctic summer sea melting at a rapid pace?”
Maybe try to express how climate change will affect them personally, which is a common suggestion. Family members in Florida, it’s concerning to read about rising sea levels around their state and how many more homes will get destroyed. If the conspiracy theory-friendly family member is a businessman and still won’t accept the facts, bring business into the picture. Most prominent oil companies acknowledge climate change. Insurance companies take climate change into consideration. If all else fails, quote Bill Nye the Science Guy. Suggest reputable sources to check out.
Another effective option: watch football. There are three NFL games on Thanksgiving this year to provide a distraction. Watch a game in peace (and socially distanced), if you’re lucky enough to have a good meal and feel peace this Thanksgiving. Football is great escapism, and even more so this particular year. The most ideal option for the subject of climate change, though, is to avoid family gatherings due to the pandemic. States are issuing restrictions. Check the guidelines. The COVID-19 rates are only getting higher. Even with vaccines on the way, health experts advise against significant family gatherings.
If you enjoyed this piece, consider a Grit Daily subscription.