Friday, May 02, 2008

Jonathon Porritt

I recently received an email from Jonathon Porritt, the UK eco-guru (who runs Forum for the Future, a government funded environmental thinktank) in response to an email I sent regarding some of the things I've been saying recently in this blog.

He said:

Dear Joe

Thank you very much indeed for your recent email.

I don’t doubt you are right that we need to be re-thinking these things in a pretty dramatic way, as its clear that people still haven’t really begun to get the true message about climate change – and what this really means for their lives today, let alone for people’s lives tomorrow.

But the difficulties contained in your email – that the only way in which we could jolt people out of that complacency is to start talking about the almost unimaginably horrible consequences that runaway climate change would bring with it. And a lot of the evidence demonstrates that when people are confronted with that kind of exceptionally negative message, they just turn off. Rather than being empowered to get stuck in (both personal and political), they withdraw even more into various patterns of denial, not least the reassurance that continuing scientific controversy seems to bring with it.

This is proving to be an immensely difficult psychological conundrum! All sorts of people currently very involved in climate change communications are worried about how to break out of this fix, and how to up people’s energy levels onto a completely different plain. An organisation called Futerra has done a lot of work on this, and you might want to check out their website. So quite difficult to know how to really push this one forward in the way that you propose!

Best wishes


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Blogger Benjamin Ady said...

OMG. I am so going to apply for a job with Futerra.

2:32 PM  

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