In conversation with Rebecca Huntley

The cover of Rebecca Huntley's book 'How to talk about climate change in a way that makes a difference', in green and orange font on a white background.

This event is being organised and run by the ANU Events team.

Rebecca Huntley will be in conversation with Andrew Leigh on Rebecca's new book How to Talk About Climate Change in a Way That Makes a Difference, a toolkit for understanding our emotional responses to climate change and how we can have meaningful conversations across dividing lines.

Why is it so hard to talk about climate change? While scientists double down on the shocking figures, we still find ourselves unable to discuss climate change meaningfully among friends and neighbours - or even to grapple with it ourselves.

The key to progress on climate change is in the psychology of human attitudes and our ability to change. Whether you're already alarmed and engaged with the issue, concerned but disengaged, a passive skeptic or an active denier, understanding our emotional reactions to climate change - why it makes us anxious, fearful, angry or detached - is critical to coping on an individual level and convincing each other to act.

This book is about understanding why people who aren't like you feel the way they do and learning to talk to them effectively. What we need are thousands - millions - of everyday conversations about the climate to enlarge the ranks of the concerned, engage the disengaged and persuade the cautious of the need for action.

'Explains whether and how we will choose to solve the climate problem. Immensely important analysis in a great read.' Professor Ross Garnaut

‘It is research that could and should significantly contribute to our dialogue on how to achieve the next sensible step forward in the climate crisis. And it is championing a methodology that is kind and meaningful. Read it to feel inspired. It truly helps’ Chris Gordon Readings Melbourne

Dr Rebecca Huntley is one of Australia's most experienced social researchers and former director of The Mind and Mood Report, the longest running measure of the nation's attitudes and trends. She holds degrees in law and film studies and a PhD in gender studies. It was realising she is part of the problem older generation that caused her change of heart and to dedicate herself to researching our attitudes to climate change. She is a member of Al Gore's Climate Reality Corps, carries out social research for NGOs such as The Wilderness Society and WWF, and writes and presents for the ABC. This is her sixth book.

Dr Andrew Leigh MP is the Shadow Assistant Minister for Treasury, Shadow Assistant Minister for Charities and Federal Member for Fenner in the ACT. He is a former economics professor at the ANU, and author with Nick Terrell of Reconnected: A Community-Builder’s Handbook (forthcoming in September).

Signed copies of Rebecca's book will be available for sale at Harry Hartog bookshop, ANU.


If you would like to submit a question to be answered in conversation, please email with your question for Rebecca.

Details with live link will be emailed to participants shortly before the event.