Climate change is the biggest environmental challenge of our time. It is already affecting our climate, agriculture, native ecosystems, infrastructure, health and biosecurity. We’re committed to making sure the nation knows about the effects of climate change on health. If anyone doesn’t think this is a severe problem, they are fooling themselves
One of the greatest challenges with climate change is its intangibility. The scope is just too large to grasp, and many of the most noticeable impacts are still too far removed from our daily lives. For some, climate change becomes either overwhelmingly challenging or abstract enough that it is easy to ignore.
Encourage climate change awareness in your community by focusing on local or regional impacts. Highlight those changes your audience might have already noticed. Because climate impacts vary, you will need to be alert for climate change impacts in your specific region. Once you’ve identified a few impacts, think about how they might affect your community. Then, tie it all to climate change. For example:
Some insect pests are already extending their range into areas where they never before existed. Is your community affected by a new insect pest? If so, encourage climate change awareness in your community by talking about how this insect pest is taking advantage of changing conditions to move into your region.
Sea level has already risen by several inches over the past century, and the impacts can be obvious in some coastal habitats. Does your community include coastal marshes or beaches? Has erosion become a challenge in recent years? If so, consider talking with your community about how sea level rise and stronger storm surges contribute to coastal erosion.
By focusing on things your audience already cares about, you are better able to raise their awareness, get them engaged and inspire individual and community action.