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Groups encourage families to talk openly about the effects of climate change

Climate change
Posted at 12:18 PM, Sep 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-15 15:18:18-04

The effects of climate change go beyond increasingly intense fires and floods. It's having a psychological effect as well.

The Lancet Planetary Health Journal found an overwhelming majority of teenagers and young adults are sad, anxious or frightened by climate change — and don't believe the government is doing enough to protect them.

Young people aren't the only ones who are worried. The Potential Energy Coalition, a new non-profit group, found that more than 60% of Americans are concerned about climate change, but only 14% talk about the issue often.

"In my case, my 17-year-old made me do it," Potential Energy Coalition CEO John Marshall. "He's like, 'Dad you've been in communications for 30 years, why don't you start helping with this issue?' I think a lot of change happens when our younger generation prompts us to do that."

That's why the Potential Energy Coalition teamed up with the Ad Council and Science Moms for a new campaign to empower parents to discuss climate change.

Science Moms is a group of climate scientists who are also mothers looking to educate, empower and inspire moms through relatable information.

"Our communication probably hasn't been the best at times as scientists," said Melissa Burt, one of the founding members of Science Moms. "We're using words that people don't understand, and so they kind of just push this to the side, 'This is not something that matters to me because I have no idea what you're saying,' right? We can provide them with the information, and we can talk about things."

The Science Moms website is loaded with resources on climate change for families like books, videos and simple tools to take action.

While the problem may seem complex, the message is simple.

"I want all of the moms and the parents to kind of join me on this front row seat to really use their voice and empower them to be a part of that movement for change," Burt said. "We've all experienced what happened over the last several months with the extreme heat, and the drought, and the water shortages, and the fires and floods. Climate change is here, and we have kind of a small window of opportunity to act, but it's not too late."