How Chinese Youth Make Sense ofClimate Change in Their Daily Life       christopher eberhardt       The New School for Soc...
introduction•   This material derives from my dissertation research•   This is a work in progress, weak areas exist•   Ori...
outline•   China + politics + environmentalism•   environmental education•   responsibility•   daily action•   lessons + s...
China + politics + environmentalism
China + politics + environmentalism                            Led by Zhou Enlai,                                         ...
China + politics + environmentalism   Limits remain   to how   individuals can           Safari can’t open the page.   deb...
environmental education
environmental education In 2003 environmental education became a national requirement for primary and secondary education....
environmental education Requiring all Chinese to study English beginning in middle school opens up new opportunities for d...
environmental education  Incorporation of  green messages  within social  propaganda  machine.  Hampered by  limited funds...
environmental education     Networks of     international activists     and organizations.Here we have a show near the 798...
environmental education    A narrative of the    weather changing,    and learning about    this issue through TV    and s...
responsibility
responsibilityCitizens wantgovernment toprovideservices, butgovernmentless able to.Chinesecitizensincreasinglyhave to take...
responsibilityIndividualizationhas increasedover the lastthirty years butdifficult to seean increase in                   ...
responsibility  Climate change is to be solved  primarily by the government, only entity  able to reign in factories. Indi...
daily action
daily action                                                                      Chinese                                 ...
daily action                            Then (1960’s,1970’s)               Now (2011)   Live the modern   and low carbon  ...
daily actionAs part of my research, I asked about 20 different actions based on other research, and I askedwhy people did ...
daily action  Research by  Ogilvy, Ziba  and other  design firms  is interesting  and                                 Sour...
daily action In contrast to Western Europe or US, there are no requests for sending emaisl to President of China, but ther...
lessons + suggestions
lessons + suggestions  Propaganda with  celebrities works. Try to  get celebrities to pay for  propaganda.Here is a propag...
lessons + suggestions   Framework is there, need   the content.   Explore ways of synergizing   between groups that can   ...
lessons + suggestions•   Try to incorporate environmental education    questions into high school and college entrance    ...
lessons + suggestions Addressing climate change without ever mentioning the word.As the above chart demonstrates, in theUn...
thank you chris eberhardteberharc@newschool.edu
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How Chinese Youth Makes Sense of Climate Change in Their Daily Life

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A presentation given for the Beijing Energy Network on November 2, 2011. Explains that Chinese learn about climate change from multiple sources, often they live low carbon lives, and that one's peers are important for understanding action.

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How Chinese Youth Makes Sense of Climate Change in Their Daily Life

  1. 1. How Chinese Youth Make Sense ofClimate Change in Their Daily Life christopher eberhardt The New School for Social Research
  2. 2. introduction• This material derives from my dissertation research• This is a work in progress, weak areas exist• Originally wanted to know if Americans and Chinese are working together to solve climate change• Re-focused on Chinese youth and how they understand climate change, particularly interested in personal responsibility – At times it becomes necessary to speak of Chinese population more generally and environmental issues more generally because of limits of my research and that of others.
  3. 3. outline• China + politics + environmentalism• environmental education• responsibility• daily action• lessons + suggestions
  4. 4. China + politics + environmentalism
  5. 5. China + politics + environmentalism Led by Zhou Enlai, Emergence of China joins emerging international international dialogue, environmental and follows peer organizations. pressure,ie. creates environmental ministry, Embedded creates national parks. activism. 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010 Government ministry Mao extols man Slow elevated, and who moved the emergence of introduction of mountain. domestic environmental environmental Do not criticize the education. organizations government Greater internationalI argue that 1950’s and 1960’s, are particularly important for peer pressure, andunderstanding why today in China there are Chinese state and internationaldomestic actors and international actors working on climate change cooperation in general.and other environmental issues.
  6. 6. China + politics + environmentalism Limits remain to how individuals can Safari can’t open the page. debate issues Safari can’t open the page “http://www.youtube.com/” because the server unexpectedly dropped the connection. This sometimes occurs when the in China. server is busy. Wait for a few minutes, and then try again.i Limits to engagement with individuals from other countries.Recent MA thesis argues that Chinese news in English does notmention climate change happening in China, only happening abroad.Her theory is that this is done so as not to raise questions aboutdevelopment policies.
  7. 7. environmental education
  8. 8. environmental education In 2003 environmental education became a national requirement for primary and secondary education. Problem is that material is not on the tests and parents think outdoor trips takes away from studying for tests. Also domestic and international NGO efforts like Green Camp and Roots and Shoots.
  9. 9. environmental education Requiring all Chinese to study English beginning in middle school opens up new opportunities for dialogue. Its easier to understand what’s said at BEER!
  10. 10. environmental education Incorporation of green messages within social propaganda machine. Hampered by limited funds. “Green travel, civilized transit.”As these images try to suggest, messages about protecting theenvironment or saving resources are in similar locations and usesimilar branding as messages about being a good and respectfulBeijing citizen.
  11. 11. environmental education Networks of international activists and organizations.Here we have a show near the 798 art district ofBeijing about coal and climate change organizedby Asia Society and a conference about recyclingand climate change organized by GAIA.
  12. 12. environmental education A narrative of the weather changing, and learning about this issue through TV and school.As a researcher, in some ways oneregret is that I did not ask about theInternet or mobile phones. Myresearch consisted of 149 peopleanswering online survey, 20 follow-upinterviews, and the common narrativewas one of the weather gettingwarmer, and learning about this issuethrough school and TV.
  13. 13. responsibility
  14. 14. responsibilityCitizens wantgovernment toprovideservices, butgovernmentless able to.Chinesecitizensincreasinglyhave to takecare ofeducation,homes, jobs, Common theme between Western Europe where welfare state is beingand medical challenged and China where the “iron rice bowl” has been dismantled, thatthemselves. individuals still look to the state to provide services, but the state struggles to do so, greater responsibility is on the individual.
  15. 15. responsibilityIndividualizationhas increasedover the lastthirty years butdifficult to seean increase in Protecting the environment isindividual responsibility, caring is virtue.responsibility inChina accordingto new research. Everyone has responsibility for protecting the environment.
  16. 16. responsibility Climate change is to be solved primarily by the government, only entity able to reign in factories. Individuals can do their small part, save water, use less electricity, etc. Similar to research looking at UK and Canada.
  17. 17. daily action
  18. 18. daily action Chinese Energy Foundation GovernmentBehind thescenes avariety ofpartnerships,domestic andinternational.What this simple powerpoint illustration is trying to show is that for many aspects of one’s life, forexample the energy efficient light bulb, there are many partnerships behind the scenes.Universities, foundations, governments, industry groups are all working together.
  19. 19. daily action Then (1960’s,1970’s) Now (2011) Live the modern and low carbon lifestyle.We can see that there has been a shift in how protecting the environment is framed from earlierdecades when Chinese were encouraged to overcome the British economy. The use of thesesingers and actors are parts of efforts for Chinese today to live the low carbon life, often with nomention of the words climate change.
  20. 20. daily actionAs part of my research, I asked about 20 different actions based on other research, and I askedwhy people did these activities. As this sample shows, there is some divergence in terms of reason,but generally Habit, protecting the environment and saving money are the main reasons.
  21. 21. daily action Research by Ogilvy, Ziba and other design firms is interesting and Source: Ogilvy important. Understand relationship between daily life and Source: Ogilvy dreams.My research in part is based on data by Ogilvy and Mather, and one thing that I hope to explorefurther is the relationship between the life one wants to live and one’s environmental impact.Ogilvy’s research also point out that many Chinese grow up living relatively efficient lives, but thequestion remains, what kind of life when they grow up. To understand this, its crucial to understanddreams, but also peer and reference groups.
  22. 22. daily action In contrast to Western Europe or US, there are no requests for sending emaisl to President of China, but there is activism and education efforts taking place; activism through China Youth Climate Action Network education. Friends of Nature low carbon families.
  23. 23. lessons + suggestions
  24. 24. lessons + suggestions Propaganda with celebrities works. Try to get celebrities to pay for propaganda.Here is a propaganda poster I made inPhotoshop of my favorite Chinese actor. Iadded the signatures and the slogan of greentransit. Research shows that Government logosand celebrities help propaganda, but companylogos hurt the efficacy of propaganda.
  25. 25. lessons + suggestions Framework is there, need the content. Explore ways of synergizing between groups that can produce content and the propaganda machineOne of the favorite things I’ve discoveredin my research is the Green Brothers,including their Green Dating video. Rightnow propaganda is designed to speak toall, but it may speak to no one, in partwhen it is often animated characters likefish and birds. Organizations like GreenBrothers can provide content for cash-strapped propaganda departments thatspeak to specific audiences.
  26. 26. lessons + suggestions• Try to incorporate environmental education questions into high school and college entrance exams. Try to get students outside during class hours more.
  27. 27. lessons + suggestions Addressing climate change without ever mentioning the word.As the above chart demonstrates, in theUnited States Republicans increasingly donot believe climate change is alreadyhappening and Democrats do. Efforts likethat of Zipcar offer perhaps an interestingmodel. Founder Robin Chase once openeda lecture by saying that two people in onecar cuts emissions in half, yet Zipcarmarkets itself as “there when you need it,”no need to buy fuel, pay insurance, etc.Similarly in China, citizens are nowencouraged to live a low carbon life withouteven hearing about climate change.
  28. 28. thank you chris eberhardteberharc@newschool.edu

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