18 facts about climate change to heat up holiday dinner

Here’s a few un-fun facts to help casually convince your family and friends to save the planet from climate disaster.

Climate conversation starters

It can be tough to overcome our different points of view when we come together with family and friends, but it can’t hurt to start a conversation. Because you give a f*ck about the planet, and your loved ones should too.

So, if you’re running into a conversational dead end with your favorite climate denier in the family, here’s a few un-fun facts to help casually convince them to help save our planet from climate disaster.

Is it hot in here? Or is it just me?

1. 2023 is set to be the hottest year on record.1

2. Global warming is happening at a rate not seen in the last 10,000 years.2

3. The likelihood of extreme heat events has nearly tripled since 1900.3,4

How’s the weather been?

4. The number of floods and heavy rains has quadrupled since 1980 and doubled since 2004.5

5. Sea levels have risen faster this century than in any preceding century in at least the past 3,000 years.6

6. The last time Earth’s atmosphere contained this much CO2 was more than 3 million years ago.7

Would you pass the (plant-based) pie, please?

7. A meat-eater’s diet is responsible for 4x more greenhouse gas emissions than a plant-based diet.8

8. Animal products use 83% of the world’s farmland, yet only provide 18% of our calories.9

9. Cattle ranching accounts for 80% of current Amazon deforestation.10

Did I hear you’re thinking about re-doing the roof?

10. Building new solar is now cheaper than running old coal plants.11

11. Since 2009, the price of solar energy has come down 90%.11

12. You can sell excess solar energy back to your local utility and make $$.12

Those gas prices are pretty high, huh?

13. Electric vehicle sales made up 18% of global vehicle sales in 2023.13

14. You can save $1,000 a year on fuel, plus an EV tax credit worth up to $7,500.14,15

15. There are over 50,000 public EV chargers in the U.S., with funding to build 500,000 more by 2030.16

I’ve never been so excited for leftovers.

16. ⅓ of all the food intended for human consumption is wasted or lost.17

17. 25% of the world’s freshwater supply is used to grow food that is never eaten.18

18. If wasted food was a country, it would be the 3rd largest producer of carbon dioxide in the world, after the U.S. and China.19


1(2023, December 6). Copernicus Climate Change Service: November 2023 – Remarkable year continues, with warmest boreal autumn. 2023 will be the warmest year on record. Copernicus. Retrieved December 13, 2023, from https://climate.copernicus.eu/copernicus-november-2023-remarkable-year-continues-warmest-boreal-autumn-2023-will-be-warmest-year

2How Do We Know Climate Change Is Real? NASA. Retrieved December 13, 2023, from https://climate.nasa.gov/evidence/

3(2023, August 18). 10 Facts That Prove the World Is in a Climate Emergency. WIRED. Retrieved December 13, 2023, from https://www.wired.co.uk/article/climate-change-facts

4(2022, July 1). Climate Change Indicators: Heat Waves. Environmental Protection Agency. Retrieved December 13, 2023, from https://www.epa.gov/climate-indicators/climate-change-indicators-heat-waves

5European Academies' Science Advisory Council, Leopoldina - Nationale Akademie der Wissenschaften. (2018, March 21). New data confirm increased frequency of extreme weather events. ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/03/180321130859.htm

6(2023, February 15). UN Security Council holds session on sea level rise. World Meterological Organization. Retrieved December 13, 2023, from https://wmo.int/media/news/un-security-council-holds-session-sea-level-rise

7(2023, May 12). Climate Change: Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association. Retrieved December 13, 2023, from https://www.climate.gov/news-features/understanding-climate/climate-change-atmospheric-carbon-dioxide

8Scarborough, P., Clark, M., Cobiac, L. et al. Vegans, vegetarians, fish-eaters and meat-eaters in the UK show discrepant environmental impacts. Nat Food 4, 565–574 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1038/s43016-023-00795-w

9Poore, J., & Nemecek, T. (2018). Reducing food’s environmental impacts through producers and consumers. Science, 987-992. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.aaq0216

10Sandy, M. (n.d.). THE AMAZON RAIN FOREST IS NEARLY GONE. TIME. Retrieved December 13, 2023, from https://time.com/amazon-rainforest-disappearing/

11Roser, M. (n.d.). Why did renewables become so cheap so fast? Our World in Data. Retrieved December 1, 2020, from https://ourworldindata.org/cheap-renewables-growth

12Glover, E., Grubisic, C., & Pelchen, L. (2022, November 15). Net Metering: Learn All About Net Metering and How You Can Earn Even More From Your Solar Panels. Forbes. Retrieved December 1, 2020, from https://www.forbes.com/home-improvement/solar/net-metering/

13(2023, August 1). World EV Sales Report - August 2023. CleanTechnicha. Retrieved December 1, 2020, from https://cleantechnica.com/2023/10/07/world-ev-sales-now-equal-18-of-world-auto-sales/

14Preston, B. (2020, October 8). EVs Offer Big Savings Over Traditional Gas-Powered Cars. Consumer Reports. Retrieved December 1, 2020, from https://www.consumerreports.org/hybrids-evs/evs-offer-big-savings-over-traditional-gas-powered-cars/

15Domonoske, C. (2023, October 6). Getting a $7,500 tax credit for an electric car will soon get a lot easier. National Public Radio. Retrieved December 1, 2020, from https://www.npr.org/2023/10/06/1204077790/buying-electric-vehicle-ev-tax-credit-inflation-reduction-act

16Avery, D. (2023, March 17). Which States Have the Most EV Charging Stations? CNET. Retrieved December 1, 2020, from https://www.cnet.com/roadshow/news/how-many-ev-charging-stations-are-there-in-the-us/#google_vignette

17Li Xue & Gang Liu. (2019) Introduction to global food losses and food waste. Saving Food. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B9780128153574000018

18M. Kummu, H. de Moel, M. Porkka, S. Siebert, O. Varis, P.J. Ward. (2012) Lost food, wasted resources: Global food supply chain losses and their impacts on freshwater, cropland, and fertiliser use. Science of The Total Environment. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0048969712011862

19FAO (2013) Food Wastage Footprint: Impacts on Natural Resources (Summary Report). http://www.fao.org/docrep/018/i3347e/i3347e.pdf