Why we should be having tea with the enemy

By: @sanders_bec Greenpeace Australia Pacific Volunteer

I received a super excited Snapchat the other day. A friend of mine has almost finished his degree in engineering and he’s already been offered a job… at BP. British Petroleum. At first, I wanted to be angry. I hoped he’d turn it down, but the more I think about it, the more I hope he takes it.

Many of us, myself included, are guilty of judging or getting angry at climate skeptics, people who earn their wages supporting fossil fuels or people who just have difficulty with change. But our interactions with these people, who make us so mad, are more important than ever.

My friend is extremely bright, honest and heartfelt.

He is exactly the kind of person who has the potential to steer such a huge corporation in a better direction. It’s time to start changing these organisations from the inside out.

To do this we need to be able to talk openly and without judgement to those who have opinions that are opposed to our own.

Remember to always be polite. Nobody wants to agree with someone who’s being mean.

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Listen. Find out how they formed their opinions and about the sources of their information. Share your own and share why you trust the information and your sources.

If they’re stubborn or rude; stay calm. Don’t stress, you’ve started the conversation. It took many cups of tea to get my grandmother on board with marriage equality!

Hundreds of people joined the global #BridgesNotWalls activities in Budapest, Hungary.

It’s so important to keep lines of communication open to different groups, to keep sharing new information and educating each other. This way we can shift from arguing about climate change (which is not an argument anymore) and start arguing about the best way to make our world greener instead.

It’s time to start talking. If you’d like to start a conversation, try one of these, remember to add your name and to share.

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