One of the biggest problems when it comes to action on climate change is simply that we don't talk about it enough. This makes it harder to know what the problems and solutions really are, and keeps the pressure off people who could help change things - whether that's politicians, businesses, or your uncle Colin.
Climate science is a super complex business, but the basic things you need to know to understand climate change aren't very hard. UCL Professor Mark Maslin has a great, simple overview if you want the basic science. To keep up to date, it's worth getting in the habit of following some climate news sites - e.g. Carbon Brief, Climate Home and Climate Central.
Going to talks and events can be a really great way of learning something new about climate change and meeting other people who are interested or involved in finding solutions. Have a look at universities, libraries and other venues for events that might fit the bill.
As well as the latest on Arctic sea ice melt, floods and politicians just not getting it, it's important you keep up to date with stories of people taking action to tackle climate change too. It'll help give you hope to get through the dark times, and best of all, it'll give you inspiration to take more action yourself.
It's not good enough to just keep this knowledge to yourself though. Once you get used to reading more about climate change, talk about it.
Unsure where to start? We have a great guide to how to make your climate conversations better. It’s surprisingly easy once you get started.
This is another place where climate hope stories can come in handy - it's easier to talk about things going well, plus it’s way easier to start a convo with a story than with a graph. You can be all "did you hear about how Finland’s oldest ferry just went electric?" or “omg did you hear about the awesome swimming pool in France heated with heat waste from data centres?” or even “did you know that beer is wind powered” and that can spark up a larger conversation.
And you can always talk from your experience. If you learned how to do something to cut your carbon, share your new knowledge with your friends!
If you see or hear something that annoys you about how the media cover climate change, write to them. This works for things they don’t cover too. If there's a cool story you've read in a specialist site like Carbon Brief, and you think it really should be getting more attention, write to ask why they're not covering it. Editors can be very sensitive to their mailbags, so it's worth taking the time to share your views.
Similarly, if you think a museum or gallery isn’t covering climate change enough (or is sponsored by an oil company) you could drop them a comment too.
One of the first global climate agreements the UK signed - the 1992 Rio convention - included a pledge to keep citizens informed about climate change. Do you think they’re living up to that? If not, bug your MP.