The more we talk, the more data we produce, the more supporting information we provide, and the more noise we create. Minimizing noise is a reason we let decision makers make their own conclusion.
Another reason is that self-made conclusions tend to stick because we draw the decision maker into the analysis.
A final reason is that we avoid conflict, especially when the stakes are high or the politics are extreme. Avoid conflicts also helps reduce noise, but avoiding conflict also gets our decision maker to "yes" faster.
What’s In a Definition?
The conversation about climate change is softening, but the topic remains highly pollical. Climate change also involves high levels of complexity and uncertainty.
South Carolina is a red (Republican) state and climate change, at least man-made climate change, is controversial. In South Carolina, government officials tend to refer to climate variability rather than climate change.
“Climate change is a significant and persistent change in an area's average climate conditions or their extremes. Seasonal variations and multi-year cycles (for example, the El Niño Southern Oscillation) that produce warm, cool, wet, or dry periods across different regions are a natural part of climate variability. They do not represent climate change.” - Source NOAA Climate.gov
The difference is a real and honest one because climate variability moves to climate change only when there is a statistical or persistent change. Using the right definitions enables the decision maker to make their own conclusions based on the data.
Many Graphs Do Not Need an Explanation
The South Carolina Office of Resilience presents the rise in population in SC coastal counties with one graph. There is little need for commentary. It is obvious that Horry County (Myrtle Beach area) and Charleston County are growing beyond all others.
When it comes to temperature, it is obvious that we are in a warming period. However, it is also obvious that the climate has been this warm previously. In fact, alternating warming and cooling patterns happen on approximately 20-year cycles. It is unnecessary to say much, if anything. Just show the graph.
When it comes to rainfall, the trend is up and down. However, the trend remains around the average. Again, it is not necessary to say much. Just show the graph.
The more we talk, the more noise we create. For topics with high levels of complexity and uncertainty, we also tend to create controversy and delay action.
As trusted advisors, we should seek to let our decision makers make their own conclusions. Unless, of course, we do not want them to make a decision.