A Climate Conversation with my Conservative Leaning Father


in this episode

Just in time for the tail end of election season, in this episode we take a break from our deep dives into core subject matters with scientists, conservationists, and advocates for the natural world.  Instead, I share a sit down with my very own father, Jim Veraldi.  A man raised in the 60s and 70s, of deep family and religious value, who believes in work ethic and dedication to one’s craft, and has always leaned conservative in his political values.

The climate crisis has sadly become a polarizing political issue in recent years.  It shouldn’t be.  It impacts all of us regardless of political party, religion, or cultural differences.  This summer, I took my father through an online climate course from the University of Michigan.  As he’ll explain in the episode, up until this year climate change was never really top of mind or a priority in his day to day life.  He just wasn’t that aware of the gravity of it.  This class, however, opened him up to new information that started to change his thinking.

It is important that we learn to have more constructive, mutually respectful conversations with those who think differently from us, no matter where you are on the spectrum of climate and conservation.  This is the only way to make this movement stronger and wider.  Build onramps, not blockades.

For those who are still skeptical on the climate crisis, I hope this episode can make you more open to seeking information and learning more about this issue.  For those who are fighting already to combat this crisis and save this planet, I hope this episode can give you a framework for talking to family and friends to join you.


(3:00) Jim’s Core Values
(10:00) The 2 Macro Spectrum’s of Climate Dialogue
(16:00) Jim’s Upbringing and Early Years at Exxon
(24:20) Jim recalls when he remembers Climate initially being in public discord
(28:29) We discuss how wrong we both have been on this topic at points in our lives
(40:25) Jim’s 2020 Summer School in Climate
(46:30) Is climate factoring into Jim’s Presidential Vote?
(53:47) How do we make the climate crisis more bipartisan?
(1:00:02) What would Jim say to other traditional conservatives about climate today?