Saturday, April 23, 2016

Be the change you wish to see

In this post from a couple of days ago, I brought in evidence to show that I am not the only one puzzled that people don't get the connection between climate change and meat eating.  And later, in my rejoinder to the comments, I added, "Scientists rarely ever are able to shape people's habits."

The conversation continues.  At least here, thanks especially to the commenters--even the occasional ones--I don't feel like I am talking with myself, which is what usually happens in the classroom ;)

This opinion essay at the Scientific American explores what ought to be done:
Social science can point to effective ways communicators can help the public distinguish fact from untruth, and hopeful understanding of how science might sidestep contention in the first place.
Good luck on social scientists helping ways in which the public can "distinguish fact from untruth."

But, it is not as if the public is not really in the dark about the lifestyle aspects of climate change, though they may not be well informed about the meat connection.  Pew Research Center notes this from its global survey:

Even in the US.  Yes:
Even in the U.S., a country known for its technological advances, only 23% believe technology alone can solve climate change. 
If so, then how would one go about convincing people that they have to make some serious lifestyle changes?

Here's where things get complicated.  I suppose it can easily become a game theory scenario where people think it is a great idea--as long as others do it.  But then everybody waits around for others to implement changes!

As that grand old man from the old country said:
If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. ... We need not wait to see what others do.

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