Monday, August 06, 2007

Making climate cool

Start of the Climate Change March, 2006, by annecspear
You're on a trip away. Would you re-use your hotel-provided towels if you were asked to do so for environmental reasons (less use of resources and subsequent pollution)? Or would you re-use them because you knew most of the other hotel guests did so?

All we like sheep... That's a no-brainer, you'd think. The answer would be the former, wouldn't it? Well actually no, it isn't. A recent survey in the US showed that people were strongly influenced by what they thought other people were doing. This sheep-like desire to follow the crowd overrode any other concerns. Stupid people, you might think, but we all do it, usually unconsciously. That's the whole basis of the giant fashion industry and advertising. We follow the fashions in clothes, hairstyles, cars, holidays or whatever it may be largely because others do too. You remember the old song? ...

Ev'rybody's doin' it
Doin' it, doin' it
Ev'rybody's doin' it
Doin' it, doin' it

Is there a useful lesson to be learned? I think so. We have to somehow make caring about the planet cool. That was the ultimate purpose of Live Earth on 7/7/07 and the reason the celebrities were engaged to perform. Celebs are seen by many to be the ultimate cool; the ultimate trend-setters. So Al Gore's laudable attempt to get them onto a new climate care bandwagon made perfect sense. We need these perceived trendsetters to make climate care cool and to do that, the celebs need to set good examples, something many of them conspicuously don't do. So, celebrities and everyone else, let's do it. Let's make climate cooooool!


Derek said...

You're quite right.
Most of us go around on autopilot just doing what everyone else is doing because that way one doesn't get in trouble.
Recognised a long time ago - When in Rome, do as the Romans do.

It is of course possible to change such behaviour, but it's jolly hard.
The good news is that once it becomes accepted by the admired members of society, things tend to suddenly change state - a bit like our climate might if we don't! :-{

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