No One’s Perfect: How to Advocate for Climate Conservation Anyway It felt like an illegitimate and underhanded attack. After I gave a seminar on perceptions of energy use, a member of the audience stood up and asked me: You flew … Continue reading Research credibility
Doubling Down on a Better Environment for Us All The current administration’s recent announcement that the United States will withdraw from the Paris accord on climate change is an undeniable setback for environmental conservation efforts worldwide. The Paris agreement gives … Continue reading Tackling environmental challenges
A psychological trick to turn people green: show how environmentalism will help their own goals How do you get people to act in a climate friendly manner? The received wisdom is to push the basic message that climate change is … Continue reading Everyone cares about something
Why Free Marketeers Don’t Buy Climate Science It is often said that people who don’t want to solve the problem of climate change reject the underlying science, and hence don’t think there’s any problem to solve. But consider a different possibility: Because they reject the proposed solution, they dismiss the science. If this is right, our whole picture of the politics of climate change is off. Here’s an analogy. Say your doctor tells you that you must undergo a year of grueling treatment for a serious illness. You might question the diagnosis and insist on getting a second opinion. But … Continue reading Climate solution aversion
Why Our Memory Fails Us Neil Degrasse Tyson, the astrophysicist and host of the TV series “Cosmos,” regularly speaks to audiences on topics ranging from cosmology to climate change to the appalling state of science literacy in America. One of his staple stories hinges on a line from President George W. Bush’s speech to Congress after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. In a 2008 talk, for example, Dr. Tyson said that in order “to distinguish we from they” — meaning to divide Judeo-Christian Americans from fundamentalist Muslims — Mr. Bush uttered the words “Our God is the God who named the … Continue reading Is your memory overconfident?
The best way to win an argument You are, I’m afraid to say, mistaken. The position you are taking makes no logical sense. Just listen up and I’ll be more than happy to elaborate on the many, many reasons why I’m right and you are wrong. Are you feeling ready to be convinced? Whether the subject is climate change, the Middle East or forthcoming holiday plans, this is the approach many of us adopt when we try to convince others to change their minds. It’s also an approach that, more often than not, leads to the person on the receiving … Continue reading How to change someone’s mind