8 responses

  1. "
    Terry Mock
    July 5, 2012

    “If environmental advocates really want to change people’s attitude towards the environment, they must tap into this popular interest. The natural sciences need to be rendered in a way that is engaging, but to achieve the paradigm shift we are seeking, we must go beyond traditional pedagogy and scientifically derived facts.”

    Sustainable Development Trilogy

    Sustainable Land Development Initiative

  2. "
    Kathryn Cooper
    July 7, 2012

    Richard – This is a terrific post! It reminds me of the quote from Daniel Quinn in Ishmael – when talking about narrative and humankind – Ishmael says, “Given a story to enact that puts them in accord with the world, they will live in accord with the world.”

    Reconstructing this new narrative is critical. I wonder if, as scientists, we are stuck in our own “worldview”. Reductionist thinking tells us that humans are rational beings. Sharing the numbers and facts of climate change and environmental destruction ought to move people to action. Unfortunately, we are not only rational, but also emotional and social beings. We also hold engrained habits and live in societal constructs (political, economic, sometimes religious) that work against adaptive change.

    It’s complicated. It is a system. And we are only a part of it.

    Again from Ishmael – “… the world doesn’t need to belong to man but it does need man to belong to it.”

  3. "
    January 18, 2013

    The problem is that it is not just about getting a critical mass of the population energized to mobilize re: climate change. We can do all the sustainability work we want in our own neighborhoods but unless the US government begins to take real steps to reduce greenhouse gases all of our good intentions and good efforts will have limited impact. And the economic clout of big industry, especially oil, mining, and utility companies and all their lobbying groups continue to use the power of the purse over many elected officials to prevent any meaningful (or even moderate) climate change legislation from moving forward. And then there are all the empty headed climate-change deniers who sit in the seats of Congress and exert their sway…even when the evidence is both overwhelming and unequivocal.

  4. "
    Richard Matthews
    January 25, 2013

    Thank you for your comments John. While I agree that governments are not acting to address the problem of climate change, part of the problem is that people are not pressuring their elected representatives. President Obama has indicated that he will “respond to climate change,” however House Republicans will not support action unless their constituents demand that they do so. Hence the need for new narratives that help people to see the urgency of action.

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