Dan — Great piece. A couple of years ago I was asked to give a talk on how progressives and conservatives could have a constructive dialog about climate change. I wish I had had your 11 steps to help me with that talk.
There are just a couple of things I would be interested in your reaction to — ideas I had that are implicit in your list but not quite spelled out.
First, I am of the opinion (not at all original with me) that it is a bad tactic to try to scare people into action by dwelling on the worst-case, “end of humanity” stories. I think it is more constructive (especially when talking to conservatives) to keep a pragmatic, less emotional tone. Do you agree? You sort of hint at that in Step 6 when you say, “Be honest, but be gentle.” Or am I reading something into your point that isn’t really there?
Second, I think language and rhetoric are very important when you get to Step 9, “Would you like to learn more?” There are a lot of sources (some progressives don’t even know this!) that are written by conservatives who are concerned about climate change. They use the same facts and make the same calls to action as the progressives’ favorites, like Mann and the Sunrise Movement, but they use language and rhetoric that is not scary and off-putting to conservatives. Do you think it might be useful to include some such sources in your Step 9 to help when your readers are talking to their proverbial Fox-News-Watching uncle?
Jerry Taylor is a great example of someone who is passionate about climate action but who knows how to talk to conservatives. Here is just one recent example to show his style: https://www.niskanencenter.org/one-and-only-one-cheer-for-the-republican-innovation-answer-to-climate-change/
I list some other examples at the end of my talk. You can find them on the last three slides of the slideshow version of my talk. Here is the link: https://www.slideshare.net/dolaneconslide/how-to-talk-to-conservatives-about-climate-change There are some more recent sources I could add if you’d like.