Monday, June 3, 2013

proper motivation

I question climate activists' versions of saber-rattling, such as threatening bigger-badder-weather or the metaphorical hotter pot of water.  I'm beyond tired of reading their malicious hopes for a catastrophe, such as hoping for an El NiƱo.  That approach is based on the assumptions that a future fear or pain is either adequate motivation for change now, that a catastrophe would lead to a progressive policy outcome (how often does that happen..) and that incremental problems might be enough to prompt a major revision. Even an ordinary insurance policy is for coverage that takes effect immediately, it is not a protection that is postponed until next year.  Who hasn't said, I can't make plans on that, it's too vague? Or, I'll just fix what I have, until it's really broken?

I suggest that what makes juices flow and feet go is an immediate priority for something specific that we hold dear. The energy is strong for a positive and personal outcome, as compared to merely negating a generic negative.
When I am thrifty I have an immediate benefit as well as future benefit. When I fed my children nutritious food, same thing, both an immediate and future benefit. When I eat locally grown food, I have both.

With climate change, consider measures to either mitigate and/or adapt to the changes already in motion. Which of these have a clear positive outcome, part of a vision for the future?  A benign fuel like solar energy is an easy example of a sunny outcome, pun intended.

In the battle to cut down on tobacco-related illness, a Madison Avenue advertising executive explained that ads about dire threats of illness from smoking did not motivate. He said instead you have to make tobacco-free activity far more sexy than acts of smoking. Show healthy attractive people enjoying clear air and each others' company.  The tobacco industry had done its darnedest to try to make smoking seem sexy, but it is straightforward to show that tobacco-free is REALLY really sexy!

Same thing with prepping for climate change. The oil and gas industry have tried to make fossil fuel vehicles and  houses and things made with fossil fuel all seem sexy and upscale. Fortunately we have some counterpoints like the electric cars with elegant lines or the zero-energy houses that are definitely upscale.

We need a positive vision for the future, not one that is whupped by fear.

No comments:

Post a Comment