If global warming, the greenhouse effect, or climate change or anything else you want to call it is really as bad as people say it is, why does the general public persist in doing virtually nothing about it? It’s a pressing question that plagues anyone who thinks of themselves as having a high level of awareness about such things.
Legendary business guru Tom Peters’ weblog has an interesting discussion going on that starts by suggesting the issue is “poorly marketed”, and has a “weak brand”.
If you’ve read George Lakoff’s Don’t Think of an Elephant then you’ve got some idea of where this is headed….
The very idea of looking at “global warming” as a “brand” is a little weird. It’s the kind of thing that people assume will be understood simply because of its potential gravity, but when signs of catastrophe are not apparant in everyday life, people tune out.
It “branding” really part of the issue? If it were branded as “scarier” would it change people’s behavior, or produce a backlash? Commenters on the site suggest a few more ideas: Scientists are bad at reporting on science to a general audience, energy prices are not priced to account for externalities which keeps people in a imaginary world, and careless leaders.
Personally, I like the phrase “Global Weirding” as it implies that a) We’re not entirely sure what the heck is going to happen, and b) whatever it is, it’s may be weird and problematic. What do you think?