Thursday, December 1, 2011

7 steps for effective communication of climate change

Accrording to Peter Sandman, the guy who developed "Risk = Hazard + Public outrage," or "Perceived risk = technical risk + non-technical component."

"Number one, express regret for some of the solutions that are going to be unpleasant and costly. Number two, express uncertainty that you’re right, but conviction that the risk is too great to ignore. Number three, give people absolution for having dug this ditch without realizing that they were digging it. Number four, be interested in possible solutions that are less unpleasant. Take the possibility of a technical fix seriously. If we can’t find one, then we can’t find one, but environmentalists don’t want to find one. They’re very hostile to the idea that we might solve this problem without changing everything about our way of life. You know, be open to that. Number five, be more optimistic. Don’t try to say the world is going to hell in a hand basket where it’s already too late, we’re doomed, therefore use compact fluorescents. Nobody’s going to change their lives if we’re doomed. We have to have a good shot at solving the problem seriously. Last point…well, no next to last point, take adaptation seriously. You know, instead of just trying to reduce our vulnerability, or reduce the amount of climate change, try to reduce our vulnerability to climate change. Take seriously learning how to live comfortably in a hotter world with wilder weather. And finally, stop trashing the enemy. Be much more respectful of people who think you’re wrong, or people who think the cost is too high, or people who are in any of a variety of ways opposed to the climate change movement. They’re allowed to treat you with contempt. It’s a big mistake to treat them with contempt. (details)

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