If you’re like me, and don’t always have all the data and facts on climate change ready, but know that sometimes you’re worried about the future, while at other times hopeful that real change will happen, then Rebecca Huntley’s book, 'How to Talk about Climate Change in a Way That Makes a Difference' is equal parts informative and encouraging (though you may shed a few tears as well).
Huntley explores a variety of emotional responses to climate change in order to demonstrate how to effectively talk about, and take action on, climate change. Huntley’s goal is not to write a scientific text – she writes, ‘you won’t find a lot of natural science in this book’ (p. 6) – but to help us better understand our own reactions to climate change, so that we can use our emotions to lead us to action. This is because Huntley firmly believes we need to ‘stop being reasonable and start being emotional’ (p.43). Huntley achieves this goal by breaking the book into chapters which focus on a single emotional response: guilt, fear, anger, denial, loss, despair, hope, and love.
You might have felt one or several of these emotional responses to climate, or indeed, cycle through them. The brilliance of Huntley’s book is that we don’t have to hide the fact that we feel anxious, concerned or even angry about climate change. The challenge is to do something with those emotions. Feeling angry about inaction on climate change? Turn the anger into action. Care about your community? Love your friends and family, your neighbours? Love them well by acting to protect and preserve our shared home.
How to talk about Climate Change is a highly readable and engaging book. Everyone should make the time to read it.
Rebecca Huntley's book was published in July 2020 and is available to purchase here.
Rosie Clare Shorter is a PhD Candidate in the Religion and Society Research Cluster at Western Sydney University. She is studying Anglicanism as a lived religion in Sydney. She is interested in hearing about how people live their faith, and in exploring the interaction of gender, sexuality, evangelism and religious authority. She has a Master of Research and Bachelor of Creative Arts from Macquarie University.