Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Tell Me Something Good

Here’s an interesting one. Share a scary problem with someone without giving them a solution, and they’re less likely to believe there is a problem.

That’s the guts of an outtake from a study by UC Berkeley about people’s perceptions of global warming. The study says that warnings about the catastrophic implications of global warming threaten people’s fundamental tendency to see the world as safe, stable and fair. As a result there is a danger that they will dispute the evidence on global warming and may even cut back on their plans to reduce their carbon footprint.

On the other hand, earlier experiments show that when presented with possible solutions to global warming at the same time as the doomsday scenarios, people have greater confidence that we can beat this thing.

While that seems obvious, I like the angle on human nature. It suggests that in our heart we believe that any dire prediction not accompanied by a strong dose of hope is actually incomplete. It says we’re optimists when it counts, and sends a message to start with the answer and work back to the solution.

This rings true with the shift from Green to TRUE BLUE action. Time to throw out the top-down baggage of the old sustainability and the scaremongering that comes with it. Get ready for a fresh approach from the people-up.