Practicality: The Key to Making Climate Popular
What makes an idea popular? What makes it spread, catch fire, or go viral? In a recent column for The Huffington Post, communications guru Lisa Bennett explains that one of the key determining factors is how practical an idea is. Americans are hungry for practical, usable tips about how they can improve their lives and the lives of their families and communities.
Up until this point, climate change has not been seen as a particularly practical concern, which may explain why it hasn’t caught fire in the United States. But by reorienting how we talk about climate change to focus more on practical, achievable solutions that offer an appealing vision of the future, climate advocates may begin to build the support necessary to achieve meaningful progress on the issue.
Lisa Bennett, Contributor to The Huffington Post and Director of A Better Climate
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what makes something — a book, a movement, an issue — popular in America because of the great and urgent need to build public will for climate action.
Here’s some of what I’ve come up with:
Leaving aside the obvious attractions of pure entertainment, celebrity, and salacious or otherwise scandalous diversions, what often makes a book become a bestseller is that it provides clear and accessible information that people find useful and empowering in their everyday lives. It seems to let readers in on the mysteries of how the world works, and how we can be more effective in it. (Consider anything by Malcolm Gladwell.) Movements similarly take off when people believe they can genuinely make a difference in the world.
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