Andrea Learned

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VPR Commentary: Psychology of Climate Change Denial

What motivates the average person to engage with the tough societal issues?  That’s a question I’m deeply exploring in both my work and master’s studies these days.  An article by George Marshall in Yes Magazine helped me put some framework around the psychology of climate change denial, specifically, and start to form some ideas for “marketing” sustainability more effectively to consumers.  One-line answer?  Make it visible, immediate and personal.

Here’s a clip from my VPR commentary on the topic (and yes – we recently did have a 59 degree day here in Vermont!  Talk about visible, immediate and personal…):

Essentially, the idea is that, if climate change were visible to the naked eye, people would feel threatened enough to act.  Instead, climate change is invisible.  Unless, of course, we consider an early December 59 degree Vermont day to be a neon sign, as some of us do.

The VPR link for both the text and audio format is here.  I’d love to hear your thoughts (or examples of how such topics are being brought “home” for consumers).