Via UC Berekeley:
A UC Berkeley study has found that while people who identified themselves as conservatives tend to be less concerned about the environment than their liberal counterparts, their motivation increased significantly when they read articles that stressed the need to “protect the purity of the environment” and were shown such repellant images as a person drinking dirty water, a forest filled with garbage, and a city under a cloud of smog.
Published today (Dec. 10) in the online issue of the journalPsychological Science, the findings indicate that reframing pro-environmental rhetoric according to values that resonate strongly with conservatives can reduce partisan polarization on ecological matters.
“These findings offer the prospect of pro-environmental persuasion across party lines,” said Robb Willer, a UC Berkeley social psychologist and coauthor of the study. “Reaching out to conservatives in a respectful and persuasive way is critical, because large numbers of Americans will need to support significant environment reforms if we are going to deal effectively with climate change, in particular.”
I absolutely agree with this. I am tired of people trying to “win” the climate debate with a 51% majority. That will not work. A social consensus is necessary.
When people say “climate is a winning issue for Democrats” I find that totally unreassuring. That’s really the wrong way for society to be going, whether Democrats win or not. I wonder if we don’t need more leftist climate naysayers for the right to hate, so we can properly depolarize this issue.