The time to talk about climate change and social equity is now. Author and sustainability consultant Kevin Wilhelm has a valuable new guide to bridging the political, social, and ideological chasms that keep that discussion from happening, How to Talk to the “Other Side”: Finding Common Ground in the Time of Coronavirus, Recession and Climate Change. A practical book full of real-world examples of collaboration that succeeded despite Left-Right, Urban-Rural, and racial divisions. Wilhelm and his co-author Natalie Hoffman provide a framework for building “allyship” with people usually dismissed as the stubborn, unthinking opposition. Listen to this important discussion, if only to take a little hope away to use in your life during these difficult times.
Written during the early weeks of the pandemic, How to Talk to the Other Side has even more relevance in the wake of the murder of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter protests that started in June. He discusses the backgrounds of different factions in the climate debate, offering empathetic ideas about how to build an effective connection. We also explore the impact of generational change — among Millennials, both Republican and Democratic voters say climate change is a real, urgent issue facing our species.
Wilhelm is CEO of Seattle-based Sustainable Business Consulting, a professor at the University of Washington and Harvard University, as well as the author of Return on Sustainability: How Business Can Increase Profitability & Address Climate Change in an Uncertain Economy and other business books.