Out With the Bad, in With the Good: Talking About Climate Change

Nov 17, 2017

When Martin Luther King Jr. gave his most famous speech, he did not say "I have a problem." A growing environmental movement called #EarthOptimism is taking that idea and painting a vision for a brighter future.

During this hour of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks with Nancy Knowlton, who is chair of marine science at the National Museum of Natural History at the Smithsonian and founder of the earth optimism movement, and Connie Mutel, who is a senior science writer at the University of Iowa. 

Instead of focusing on the melting ice caps and the extinction of species, Knowlton says she would rather focus on the success of renewable energy, the forests that are growing back, and a recovering ozone layer, and she would direct her students to do the same. She says when she talks about environmental problems, she puts more emphasis on what is working and how things are improving. 

"I think it makes them realize the importance of what they are doing and the importance of having a scientific basis for how to solve a problem. It also conveys a message that if they try to do something and really work at it, they can succeed," she explains.