How to Get People to Take the Climate Change Debate Seriously

There are certain steps we can take, to get people to take the climate change debate seriously. Currently, one easily gets the impression that the climate change debate is not taken as seriously as it ought to. People don’t seem to realize just how high the stakes here are. You will hardly find a front-page newspaper story on climate change. In parliaments and other houses of national congress, climate change is treated as a backburner issue. In a nutshell, the climate change debate is not really taken seriously. And this state of affairs is what gives rise to the question as to what we can do, to get people to take the climate change debate seriously. That is where we come to learn that some of the ways in which we can get people to take the climate change debate seriously include by:

  1. Ensuring that the debate is driven by credible people: if the climate change debate is driven by folks who are known to be jokers, or (discredited) conspiracy theorists, it will always be hard for it to be taken seriously.
  2. Backing the arguments with solid facts and figures: rather than being overly verbose, and trying to arouse people’s emotions in an ‘empty’ way, a better idea would be to back arguments with solid facts and figures. That will increase the chances of the arguments advanced in the climate change debate to be taken seriously.
  3. Showing people how climate change is likely to affect them personally: people tend to respond better to things that affect them personally. People tend to take things that affect them personally very seriously. This applies even for things that are perceived as minor or petty. If, for instance, you start talking about gift cards, and someone happens to have gotten one such card (which they are managing online at Mygiftcardsite.com) they will be all ears. Even if their last visit to the gift cards portal – that is, the Mygiftcardsite portal – showed them that their card had only a couple of bucks left, they will nonetheless pay attention. That is because they understand what their stake, however small, is. We can apply the same principle to the climate change debate. It is all about getting people to stop viewing climate change as a ‘global’ phenomenon that affects other people ‘out there’. It is about getting the people to understand that climate change is also a ‘local issue’ — one that is bound to affect them in one way or another, if it is not mitigated. Once they see that sense, they will be inclined to take the climate change debate more seriously.

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