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Taboo Subjects and Red Herrings - Robin Webster


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Communicate 2019: Riding Waves, Changing Worlds. Presentation by Robin Webster

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Taboo Subjects and Red Herrings - Robin Webster

  1. 1. @ClimateOutreach Taboo subjects and red herrings in the climate change debate Communicate conference, 2019 Robin Webster, Climate Outreach #TalkingClimate
  2. 2. About Climate Outreach Image credit or link goes here - delete if not needed
  3. 3. Advice, training, research, engagement
  4. 4. Listening
  5. 5. Climate concern and climate silence
  6. 6. → 52% of GB adults ‘very concerned’ about climate change (30% in 2008) → 61% support the declaration of a climate change emergency → Proportion of people putting ‘the environment’ in the top 3 issues facing the country has tripled from 9% to 27% in two years Climate concern is at a record high 1
  7. 7. YouGov, Sept 2019 And concern is lower in the UK than many other countries “Climate change will have a great deal / fair amount of impact on my life” 58% 82% 94%
  8. 8. Climate silence
  9. 9. Don’t know what to do about it Don’t like feeling guilty about it Don’t like talking about scary things Don’t think it’s relevant to them Don’t think other people care Don’t think it’s happening Don’t know enough about it Reasons people find it hard to talk about climate change
  10. 10. Negative information, with no solution, is overwhelming Twinning frightening information with positive information about what you can do is more motivating Authentic (not contrived) fear Constructive (not naive) hope & efficacy ‘Doom and gloom’ messaging
  11. 11. 67% of people agree we should limit air travel 63% willing to eat less red meat BUT 59% would not be willing to stop eating meat 42% “doing as much as a I reasonably can” Flying and food
  12. 12. Identity and blame
  13. 13. Lifestyle change as a part of systemic change Shared with others Social norms Political change Behaviour change
  14. 14. Climate march, New York, September 2014 Climate change = system change?
  15. 15. @ClimateOutreach Thank you Sign up to our monthly newsletter at Follow us on social media @ClimateOutreach Contact us at #TalkingClimate