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    August 22, 2019 | 10:30 AM

    Why Trusted Messengers Matter

    It’s true when it comes to everyday things like music and restaurant recommendations. And it’s true when it comes to huge, existential issues like the climate crisis.

    We trust the people we know.

    Sure, it’s hardly an earth-shattering insight. But that simple fact may be what saves the world.

    What Can We Do to Fight Climate Change?

    If facts alone drove us, we wouldn’t be here. You know, in a situation where the world’s best scientists are telling us we have just over 11 years to avoid climate catastrophe.

    Because the facts are pretty simple. Fossil fuel emissions are driving the climate crisis making storms stronger and turning heatwaves lethal around the world. Drop fossil fuels for renewables (which, by the way, are the cheapest form of energy for more than two-thirds of the planet these days), and we have a good shot at keeping those storms, heatwaves, and so much more climate consequences from crossing the line from dangerous to downright biblical.

    But we’re not driven by facts alone. We’re people, after all. We eat more ice cream than doctors advise and use our phones right up until the moment we (try to) sleep. Plus, in today’s hyper-polarized media environment, most of us are pretty skeptical that what we hear even are the facts. And we’re really good at discounting the ones we don’t like. Especially when it’s about something as enormous as the climate crisis.

    Which brings us to trusted messengers. 

    What is a trusted messenger?

    The 51 Percent Project has a great explanation: "[P]eople believe people whom they trust, and they’re more likely to act based on the recommendation of that trusted other person."  

    We all have someone we look to and trust for information. It could be a family member, a friend, or a teacher we’re close with. Or out in the public sphere, an official, community leader, or provocative thinker. They make an impact on what we think and how we act.

    Chances are you’re that person for someone too. Chances are that you have the power to influence how your own family and friends think about the climate crisis. How they talk about it and how they act on it.

    But you’ve got to have the facts. The good news is that this fall, you have the chance to get the facts about the climate crisis and how we can solve it. All from a messenger you can trust.

    That’s because on November 20–21, we’re presenting 24 Hours of Reality: Truth in Action, a daylong conversation about our changing climate reaching all around the world.

    For 24 hours, Climate Reality Leader volunteers personally trained by former Vice President Al Gore will be leading presentations and speaking to their friends, neighbors, colleagues, and more about the crisis.

    They’ll be sharing the truth of what’s happening to our planet so people like you get the facts and can become informed and effective trusted messengers to their friends, neighbors, colleagues, and more.

    Before You Go

    At Climate Reality, we work hard to create high-quality educational content like blogs, e-books, videos, and more to empower people all over the world to fight for climate solutions and stand together to drive the change we need. We are a nonprofit organization that believes there is hope in unity, and that together, we can build a safe, sustainable future.

    But we can't do it without your help.

    If you enjoyed what you’ve just read and would like to see more, please consider making a generous gift to support our ongoing work to fight climate denial and support solutions.

    The Climate Reality Project