Saturday, October 22, 2011

Scientists take unnecessary fossil-fueled trips to Miami to discuss how to convince other people not to take unnecessary fossil-fueled trips

Nature News Blog: Can psychology overcome a climate of resistance?
In Miami today, at the annual meeting of the Society for Environmental Journalists, a panel of three social scientists tackled the question of how to get people to change behavior. Never mind whether they care or not. How can the culture be tweaked? How can policies be set to influence human behaviors to emit less greenhouse gas?

One - perhaps controversial - recommendation they all echoed was to avoid the phrase 'climate change,' which they say has become too politicized. Kenneth Broad, the director of the Leonard and Jane Abess Center for Ecosystem Science and Policy at the University of Miami suggested 'environmental change.' Shahzeen Attari, who studies human behavior and energy use at Indiana University likes "climate disruption."
...If we can "psych out" the man on the street and get him biking to work, we should be able to influence the major decisions that shape our global energy economy. Perhaps environmental organizations should start recruiting in psychology departments and in the intelligence community.

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