Katharine Hayhoe -- an atmospheric science professor at Texas Tech University, delivers a keynote on climate change that strongly advises the public to begin worthwhile conversations about the ecological issues we face today. Amid her research and her many years as a keynote speaker, Hayhoe recognizes that our aversion to talking about impending catastrophic events is not about the science but rather about "our ideology and our identity."
The keynote on climate change is backed up by some statistics -- "70% of people in the United States agree that the climate is changing" and that it will impact plants, animals and future generations. Yet, only 60% "think it will affect people in the United States [and] only 40% [...] think it will affect us personally."
Katharine Hayhoe finds that there is not only neglect in talking about climate change in public circles but there is also an aversion toward it in the media. She identifies this as a vicious cycle that we need to break to address impending issues of great importance.
During her keynote on climate change, the atmospheric scientist attempts to motivate conversations based on "genuinely shared values." She advises that people strive to get into conversations about the climate whether that be on the grounds of common religious beliefs, children, political views and the like. The second component of productively talking about ecological issues is establishing "rational hope," a pinpoint for a better future. Finally, the keynote on climate change motivates action -- through lifestyle choices, conscious energy consumption and the like.