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Talk like a human. Save the world.

After four years of looking at the data, we’ve identified patterns of what works (and what doesn’t) in climate change communication. Download our latest guide to make your climate messaging more effective, avoid common mistakes, and inspire people to demand action on the solutions that will save the planet.

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It’s called “Talk like a human.”

Seems obvious enough. We all do it. Most of the day. Every day. We’re ordinary people who talk to our friends, families, colleagues, and people we meet using normal, straightforward language. We try to find connections with one another and we bond over shared values.

But something strange happens to many of us when we start talking about climate change and how to fix it: we stop talking like humans and start dropping in terms like “anthropogenic,” “decarbonization,” and “1.5 degrees.”

That’s a problem, because the kind of urgent, global action that we need to address climate change isn’t going to happen unless ordinary people are motivated to act on a large scale.

Our team has run the numbers, and we’ve seen patterns of what works and what doesn’t. Now, we’ve published a guide compiling our latest suggestions for how to communicate the threat of climate change, encourage people to demand action, and inspire them with the progress we’re already making. We’ll keep learning, and so we will also keep updating this.

Here are a few highlights:

  • Climate isn’t an adjective. Climate jobs, climate action, climate this, climate that. Regular people don’t talk this way. When you do, you sound like you have a particular agenda to many people.
  • No one cares about global temperatures. 1.5 degrees is a small number. When we asked people across the globe how much they thought the UN said was a safe limit, they said 4 degree celsius!
  • Accompany it with a consequence. We have found that if within five words of saying the term climate change you always add an actual “felt consequence,” message salience soars. “The climate changing is causing extreme fires.” “The climate changing is reducing crop yields and raising food prices.”

Please share this guide

If part of your job is communicating about climate change, this is for you — and regardless, you can help us get the word out. Read the full guide, Talk Like a Human: Lessons on How to Communicate Climate Changeshare our LinkedIn post, or put it on your own networks and help your friends and colleagues do a better job connecting with people about climate change.

John and Jessica