Scaring People Is Not the Answer to Combatting Climate Change
The world is going to burn and man is going to have to get used to a world that cannot support it. Millions will be forced to fight for their base existence. Such sentences according to a new study by the University of California, Berkley rather than resulting in people to act on climate change results in them being more sceptical about the existence at all of climate change.
The study took a group of students and gauged their political attitudes, scepticism regarding global warming and belief in whether the world is just or unjust. The group was then split into two and given two separate articles on global warming. Both articles were from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, but with different endings: one ended with apocalyptic warnings; the other with a more positive ending about the possible solutions.
The happy ending group was found to be more open to believing in the existence of global warming. In contrast those who read the doomsday prognoses became more sceptical about climate change.
Drop the Horror Stories?
Scepticism in the reality of climate change is growing across the world. However in certain countries the scepticism is more profound. Most markedly in the USA where one in five do not believe climate change is happening, but also increasingly in the UK. Does this back up the study? The USA media is famous around the world for its blown out of all proportions new stories and sensationalist claims. Americans may just be reacting to such claims with increasing scepticism.
Without Sensation also No Action
To mobilise people you need to catch their fantasy. In Germany that has a relatively refrained media the scepticism is a lot less. However is action a lot less too? There are changes taking place in German society. Renewables already account for 15% of the electricity demand, but that may be more to do with business sense. The amount of action is still pitiful. Germans still drive big cars and travel more than any other nation.
We can beat climate change, but we need to have a positive message, but also make people aware that climate change is a true threat to our way of life.
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