A few committee members had an interesting discussion the other day as to how we react to climate news. It made us think of De Bono’s ‘6 Thinking Hats’. They are a simple strategy to make sure we are thinking clearly and carefully about topics. Invaluable in a wide range of situations, they are particularly relevant to climate news.

Basically, it goes like this:

White hat – what are the facts? Are they reliable? Do we need more information?

Red hat – feelings, emotions; Are they valid, or clouding our thinking?

Black hat – weak points, negatives; What do we need to be careful of?

Yellow hat – good points, positives; Advantages? Why is this one preferable?

Green hat – solutions, alternatives; New ideas? Can we do this another way?

Blue hat – planning; Thinking about our thinking. What’s next?

Several committee members recently attended a Climate Adaptation Research Hub Consultation Session via Zoom. It was a WA Government initiative seeking feedback on topics for research into adaption strategies for the future i.e. what we need to change to cope with future climate change.

So how did we apply the hats?

  1. White Hat – the facts – WA research is being planned and funded.
  2. Red hat -feelings – joy that some action is being taken, anger and frustration that it is taking so long.
  3. Yellow hat – good points – a wide range of research topics are being considered and community input sought.
  4. Black hat – negatives – why is it taking so long? How much funding will there be? How will they select research topics to fund?
  5. Green hat – creative thinking, new ideas – what type of research is needed? Let us know if you have any ideas.
  6. Blue hat – planning – what’s next? Keep the pressure on all levels of government to take action on both mitigation and adaptation.

So next time you react to climate news ask yourself – which hat am I using? Ideally, we should involve most of the hats to get a balanced response.