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


Tuesday 5 May 2009

The problem with global warming is global warming!

Do conservationists have to mirror what industry and political conservatives are doing? Yes, they do! John Boder writes in the NYT of 2 May 2009 about research by EcoAmerica that shows that the term global warming turns people off, fostering images of shaggy-haired liberals, economic sacrifice and complex scientific disputes. Environmentalists should not only avoid jargon, they should reframe the issues (see box). Then the article questions this approach by quoting Robert J. Brulle an expert of Drexel University. He argues that the use of advertising techniques is cynical and, worse, ineffective: “It doesn’t engage people in a face-to-face manner, and that’s the only way to achieve real, lasting social change.” I disagree: change also needs public opinion. And the battle for public opinion needs communications research.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You're right. Boder's column has been popping up everywhere in blogs and it's unfortunate that they all seem to misunderstand the concept of frames, which is based on linguistic and cognitive science research. Brulle is totally off-base.