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At family gatherings this holiday season, it may feel tempting to steer clear of big, weighty topics.

But there’s one that Seattle-based climate scientist Heather Price urges you not to avoid.

“Absolutely people should be talking about climate change with their families over the holidays,” she says.

Price says extreme weather is already on people’s minds.

According to a Washington Post analysis, almost one-third of Americans live in a county that was declared a disaster area because of a wildfire, storm, or flood just this past summer.

“When those things come up, just mention that it’s because of climate change,” she says.

Price is co-founder of an organization called Talk Climate. It offers free online resources to empower people of all ages to discuss the issue.

She says focusing on a shared experience like a storm – or a shared concern, like a family member’s asthma – can provide a starting point.

She recommends focusing not just on the problem, but on solutions and their benefits.

“As we decarbonize our homes, and our transportation, and our food, it’s going to be a healthier world,” Price says. “We need to remember the positives for where we’re going.”

Reporting credit: Sarah Kennedy/ChavoBart Digital Media