How to talk to your family about climate this holiday season

This holiday season, as family members with opposing views on climate change share time together, explosive screaming matches may seem inevitable. If you’re gearing up for a conversation on the climate crisis, here are some key techniques that will ensure your dinner table conversations are productive and don’t burn bridges.

  1. Remain positive and open-minded

The moment you resort to getting upset, any productivity in the conversation has ended. This doesn’t mean you have to agree with what your family member or friend is saying, or allow them to be purposely rude to you. Try your best to maintain your cool and not take the things they say personally, especially if they did not mean it that way. Do your best to remain calm and see things from their perspective without coming across as condescending. Think about your own motives and attitude — if you truly do want to understand why they believe what they believe and reach a middle ground, that authenticity is sure to come through.

But if they are being combative or refusing to listen to your perspective, you may just have to let it go. It can really be upsetting to see someone you care about refusing to relate to you, but some people are unwilling and that is not something you can blame yourself for. If this is the case, just try to redirect the conversation to something non-political and avoid returning to that conversation.


California Environmental Voters (EnviroVoters) Education Fund, formerly the California League of Conservation Voters Education Fund, believes the climate crisis is here and this moment requires transformative change. EnviroVoters Ed Fund fights for equity and justice for all Californians, from voting rights to clean air and water. We work together to make government, policy, and voting accessible by conducting public opinion research, shaping the public narrative, organizing with allies and local communities, and educating legislators on pressing environmental issues. We won’t stop until we have resilient, healthy, thriving communities, and a democracy and economy that is just and sustainable for all. Join us at and on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram