How do you convince people of climate change if you can’t with masks?

There’s been some progress (and also more death) since this graphic was made but it remains a major issue. Mask wearing is quite literally the easiest thing we can do and we can’t get a high-income country with a runaway pandemic to do it. It has become, of all things, a political divide. A study found that your political party (in the US) is a better predictor of mask use than any other factor they measured.

Now transfer this to climate action which in numerous countries has become a political side (looking at you again America. And Brazil. And Australia – although it appears neither side wants sincere climate action.)

Asking people to take individual action falls on a scale across countries – the whole world certainly (thankfully in this case) is not like America. But, given America’s outsized impact on the environment, it is a good example. This is hard. We need to ensure we have much more trust in the people we should be able to trust. We need to communicate openly and transparently. We need access to quality education. And we need better media because some countries absolutely do not have this issue – and they’re also not run by inept leaders with Murdoch media and a slew of prominent right wing websites with millions of followers.

And also – we need to learn how to contribute back to our world from birth. We need to turn to Indigenous peoples to learn for example how children are taught to look after the environment and constantly be thinking about it and their role within it. We need to tend to our gardens, dig our hands in soil, walk mountains, and be openly curious and fascinated with other animals. We can ask ourselves a couple of questions every time we buy something. How am I harming the world by buying this? Is my purchase of it contributing to the destruction of someone’s life? If it is entirely necessary, is it worth it to do so? Do I have other options?

Even if we all vote we can get stuck and can’t cherry pick ideal leaders to lead, effectively communicate, tell the truth and convince people onto the right path for catastrophes. The climate and biodiversity crises loom before us and will tower over this one. We’ve got work to do.