As most of us learned during our primary school years, negative attention doesn't accomplish as much as positive action. Most successful leaders will tell you this, too. The composure of a good leader is reflected in their attitude, body language and positive messaging. Health professionals are regularly being pulled into the climate change discourse, with warming temperatures affecting heat related deaths, rising rates of vector-borne diseases, worsening asthma and a host of other climate related health issues. Climate for Health has been organizing leaders to work proactively and combat these climate and health concerns. In doing so, it's important for us to encourage the best possible communication approach for health conscious audiences, and to help you convince others to take action. As Co.Exist reports below, there are five key ways to do this:
1. Make it feel personal, urgent, and local
2. Be positive
3. Give people a way to take visible, consistent action
4. Reduce polarization
5. Use the power of social networks
As Norwegian psychologist Per Espen Stoknes says on climate action, messages can often be reframed in a positive way. "I believe good messaging is decisive to a working democracy," says Stoknes. "I’m dreaming of messaging that really positions this in a way that generates glow and flow among people: So we can feel in our bones that it is truly within our reach, profitable and fun to solve the climate challenge."
By Adele Peters I August 12, 2015
There's a fundamental paradox about climate change. Americans are actually less worried now about the climate than they were in 1999, despite thousands of new studies that keep piling up the evidence about the threat (plus more actual physical evidence occurring every day). Scientists might be blanketing us in facts about impending disaster, but most people still aren't taking action based on those facts—and some still don't believe them.
For climate activists, the usual response is to trumpet more facts. But maybe it's time for a different approach. In a book called What We Think About When We Try Not To Think About Global Warming, Norwegian psychologist Per Espen Stoknes lays out a psychological approach for moving society to climate action. If a rational argument doesn't work, maybe we need to just embrace the irrational human mind.
"Unthinkingly, the same social experiment has been repeated over and over: Simply give people the information, and then wait and see if the facts trickling into people will persuade them to change their behavior," says Stoknes. "The outcome has been consistently underwhelming. But that hasn’t held rational people like climate scientists, public servants, and environmentalists back from trying the same experiment on the public again and again—each time with yet more facts and, each time, for some weird reason, expecting a different outcome."
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