Don’t Even Think About It

9781620401330Climate change is real, but it’s also scary. Add to this the fact that our brains are hard-wired first and foremost to survive socially by ignoring threatening problems of such complexity. The result? Our current communication strategies regarding climate changes are an unequivocal failure. Consequently, efforts to convince people to mitigate climate change are doomed from the start.

George Marshall’s Don’t Even Think About It: Why Our Brains are Wired to Ignore Climate Change (2014) Marshall explains that no amount of talk will break through this denial. What is needed, is a different kind of talk that draws upon a diverse range of voices. In order to illicit action, climate change communication must involve stories that weave together scientific information and emotional connections – stories that seed hope not despair. Going beyond a diagnosis of the problem, Marshall focuses on what will induce action and proposes that answers can be found in building a community of people who will take action based on mutual conviction regarding climate change.

If we are going to change the climate, we have to change the conversation.