Over recent years I've posted about the messaging we typically get on climate change. (Most recently Global Warming Scare Tactics (They Usually Backfire)) The predominate approach is to hit people with dire visions of what is happening to the world, lecture on the evils of capitalism and consumerism, and then offer a few practical solutions. This resonates well with a minority of people. But effective change requires that a majority consensus be built around specific action. The lopsided attention to scare tactics over solutions tends to make many feel helpless so they chose to ignore the issue. Others are turned off by the not so subtle attacks on what they feel is a good a decent way of life, inclining them to not only reject solutions but the validity of the climate concerns at all.
Yet research shows that when the focus is solution oriented, optimistic, and seen as means of preserving a way of life, many more people warm to the cause. Upworthy recently posted a clip by Jason Silva about The Solutions Project. (I love Silva as the host of Nat Geo's Brain Games.) I think Silva has done his homework. Watch the video and see how he frames the message. Notice that he is much less interested in getting people to coalesce on ideologies of what is wrong and is far more interested in getting people energized about solutions. People can bring a variety of narratives to the project but the aim is to unite them in solutions. For the sake of this conversation, I'm not interested in whether we think climate change is a threat or if we think his solutions are realistic. I'm pointing to the messaging question.
(One caveat: At 1:14 he says "the smartest men in the world." He might want to include women in that statement. ;-) )