While informing the general public of the present and future realities that climate change presents, is this really going to move people to action?
According to Laura Storm, a visionary and business leader, doomsday messages are indeed necessary, but they aren’t motivational. For example, if you want to motivate someone to work hard, you don’t say “or you’re fired.” Instead, you say, “and you’ll be rewarded.” Storm figures that this is the way we need to motivate people to action, not with pictures of doom and gloom, but those of future prosperity. Presenting the optimistic message could certainly help to motivate people, but which people?
Storm’s latest project, under the Copenhagen Climate Council, Sustainia, actually formed out of a Scandinavian think tank, Monday Morning, which was heavily involved in encouraging a political change after the Kyoto Project Protocol and International Climate Treaty. Six years ago, in Copenhagen, it was thought that gathering nearly 200 heads of state would be the best chance in passing an internationally-binding agreement on addressing climate change. Storm said, in an interview, that it “was not the right time to develop a new political treaty,” and that the overly complex approach was all wrong, focusing too much on doomsday scenarios.
Instead of focusing on politics, which are indeed important, the Sustainia project seeks to bring together business leaders to implement change this way. Considering that politics and economics often seem to be at odds with each other, getting business to make the change for a prosperous future, instead of politicians making changes to avoid a disastrous future, could be the right direction. According to some reports, the future damages that climate change will bring are indeed fear-inspiring, but for every minor success in the political world to address the problem, there are a hundred failures and reversals. Will the Sustainia project’s new approach make all the difference?
Image © Copenhagen Climate Council