Letter to Editor: Crucial conversations



To the Editor:

My name is Sirohi Kumar, and I’m an intern with A Climate to Thrive.

The climate crisis is a real issue which is already having an effect on our lives, some of which are even fatal.

People are dying of heatstroke and dehydration in countries where the temperature ceiling is rising a degree per year.

Even on our island, we’re seeing its effects on our fishing industry. As the water from the Gulf of Mexico warms, the lobsters we harvest are migrating north to remain at an optimal temperature, along with several other types of fish.

Very soon, this will result in our fishermen failing to harvest sellable amounts of lobster, which will lower their income and may put them out of a job.

The effects of the climate crisis prompt the necessity for discussion.

The topic of the climate crisis is a daunting one, especially when your opinion about it may differ from the people around you.

A survey done by social psychologist Matthew Goldberg shows that while the average American thinks only 54 percent of the public accept the reality of the climate crisis, the amount is actually nearly 70 percent.

However, even if the number of like-minded people is larger than you thought, it’s still important to discuss the climate crisis with people who don’t entirely agree with you.

A common issue with engaging in productive discussions is the very human tendency to turn a peaceful conversation into a one-sided lecture, or worse, an argument. It’s rare we are taught how to hold discussions about controversial topics, and too often, people are unable to open their minds to a different opinion.

When it comes to the climate crisis, common ground includes things like the weather (talk about the tropical storms which are exacerbated by the climate crisis), or how the climate crisis is affecting the lobster industry. These areas of common ground will allow us to hold more productive discussions about the issues which will affect us all. Conversation is the catalyst of change, and the time we have left for change is running out.

Sirohi Kumar

Mount Desert

 

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