Unfortunately, the evidence suggests that things aren’t that simple. It’s easy to find examples in our own lives of knowing better but still making less than logical decisions (e.g., I know why I shouldn’t buy that pint of ice-cream, but it’s so tasty that I do anyway): Social scientists know that this applies to bigger decisions, too.
In this video (produced by Oregon Sea Grant), Susanne Moser of the National Center for Atmospheric Research explains how those of us working to motivate people to take steps to adapt to climate change might best use what we know about communicating to really move people to make communities safer and more resilient.
One of her recommendations? Don’t focus on what the future will look like environmentally. In the best of scenarios, it’ll still look worse than today. Instead, instill a vision of what the future could look like socially. A future with a “sense of community and togetherness and enjoyment … despite a difficult climate, despite a difficult world.”
Too harsh? Or too true? Watch the eleven-minute video and see what you think.