Internet notebook about my work: deep listening to facilitate positive change


Friday 28 November 2008

The core brand value of climate change

Metaphors are often the best way to communicate complex issues. Take climate change. "Scientists and politicians still frame their observations in terms of 'if by 2050 the temperature rises by 3,5 centigrades…', says Richard Leaky at a seminar for the 30th anniversary of the Dutch Committee for IUCN. He uses the story of that train loaded with highly toxic and inflammable chemicals in the station of a mountain city to frame the core of the climate change issue. “The engine driver just returns on the platform from the cafeteria with a coffee in his hand and he realizes that he has forgotten to put the train on its breaks. He sees the last wagon disappearing from the station. What should he do? Warn the people down the mountain to get away as fast as possible? Ask colleagues along the track to jump on the train? Run himself after the train and to try to stop it? The issue of climate change is not if that train will pick up speed, derail and cause a disaster - it will! It is too late to talk about if the train picks up a speed of 30 or 60 kilometers! The engine driver hast to acts fast now, run and make others run after the train to try to slow it down and ultimately stop it. That is the core of the climate change issue."

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