I know it’s supposedly a very British thing, but I have honestly never had so many conversations about the weather, and up until extremely recently I don’t think I’d ever had a conversation with friends/family about what temperature we all have the thermostat on. Is that because it matters more, because it costs more, because we can’t go a week without a named storm, or something else?

The cost of living crisis has certainly brought things to the fore. And, today’s (20th November 2023) Guardian coverage and in-depth analysis about the climate chasm between rich and poor is striking, even for though of us interested in this stuff. ‘The climate chasm between the world’s carbon-guzzling rich and the heat-vulnerable poor forms a symbolic shape* when plotted on a graph’ (* a champagne coupe). How apt!

The richest 1% account for more carbon emissions than the poorest 66%

‘The report finds that it would take about 1,500 years for someone in the bottom 99% to produce as much carbon as the richest billionaires do in a year.’

‘This is not about rich shaming, but naming the problem(s) to find the solution(s)’

Quite. But how?

This piece from The Conversation tells us that rich or poor, informed or ignorant, everyone will take the easiest (less onerous) option when it comes to solutions. ‘It is often argued that all we need to do is raise awareness of a “global emergency” and rising eco-anxiety means individuals will “do the right thing”. Our new study indicates this just is not the case.’

‘There were nuances: those with higher household incomes were more reluctant to reduce their overseas air travel,” SEE ABOVE(!), plus ‘While this may lead to some emission reductions it may also enforce negative social impacts, such as those on lower incomes having to make drastic life changes while the affluent carry on as normal.’ Again, see above.

And, alarmingly – ‘We cannot keep using encouragement and hope.’

So where does this leave us?

We already know that successive governments shy away from the difficult, particularly longer-term solutions, and something as basic (in terms of the bigger picture) as a bottle deposit scheme still hasn’t happened.

I will reiterate what I have said on this very same topic before.

We do need educating about our impact. There is a lot of good work being done out there, and ways we can all make a difference – understanding how we can all do more, by actually having a grasp of the issues is key, despite the antipathy demonstrated in The Conversation piece (based on a relatively small sample) above.

If you are a small business and want or need to communicate your credentials on climate change then make sure you use language that means something to your target audience and don’t fall foul of greenwashing. Remember – a ton of people won’t have a clue what you are on about it – but that’s not a reason to bamboozle them with balderdash. Complex climate conversations need comms pros input.

I also highly recommend the Jon Richardson and the Futurenauts – How To Survive The Future Podcast – which is both entertaining and enlightening.