Blog author: Alistair Dempster from Soundzaboutright.
Interview and follow on event details below. Please check them out. :-)
Why is it that some people don’t realise how important the issue of Climate Change is?
Most of us recognize that climate change is real yet we do nothing to stop it. What is the psychological mechanism that allows us to know something is true but act as if it is not?
Georges’ workshop explored many issues about Climate Change communication – here are few examples;
Your average environmental campaigner is typically on the left in politics who find their own sense of belonging in joint participation with like minded people and activists. As such perhaps they are operating in a bubble when it comes to communicating the nature and scale of the challenge that Climate Change presents us with.
Put yourself in someone else’s shoes and imagine how they may feel about climate change and what might inhibit them in engaging with climate change issues.
“What makes you think that I am not affected by Climate Change? Is it the way I look, or my social or economic indicators? Is it because I’m on the right in politics and maybe don’t vote the way most climate activists do? But, I’ll tell you this if climate change is as real as you say it is then it does not matter who or what you think I am because it will affect me anyway. It will affect All of us – no exceptions. Even pulling out of Climate Change agreements will not exempt you from the effects of it.”
We’re all in it together and if ever we needed to work together on something then this is it. It’s our biggest global challenge and yet we also need to make Climate Change a local challenge in order to make it relevant and immediate. Polar bears, melting ice caps, drought and crops failures are all part of it but somewhat removed and distant from the reality of everyday Sheffield life.
We may all be aware of Climate Change but not necessarily about the complexity of its challenges. We don’t have to see Climate Change as a number of negative images or too huge to deal with it as an individual. Instead we need to tackle the discussion about Climate Change in a way that feels like a positive process that people are more likely to engage with. Above all the message needs to be local, relevant and crucially, authentic. We need to change the way we communicate the Climate Change narrative in order to be inclusive and get those people on board whose voices are not heard enough or at all. There needs to exist a feeling of belonging to the Climate Change debate that currently tends to feel distant, irrelevant and meaningless for many people. With belonging comes energy and enthusiasm and a greater willingness to engage with the issues – and maybe even go on a demo! With belonging can come a realisation that your not on your own and that you are part of a greater movement that can play a vital part in the planet’s future as well as your home town.
Have a read of his book Don't Even Think About It: Why Our Brains Are Wired to Ignore Climate Change
Check out his website; www.climateoutreach.org for more details of George’s activities
Alistair Dempster - Sounz@boutright Blog.
9min interview with George Marshall to download as mp3 file:
Please join us for a practice session and discussion of climate change communication.
28 November 2017, 6-7.30pm
Seminar Room DB 13.
Please book your free eventbrite ticket so we know how many people to expect: