The “Mad Men” Guide to Climate Action
Fans of “Mad Men” know that adman Don Draper is famous for cutting to the chase. If he were living in 2015 instead of 1969, he would probably have little patience for equivocations about climate. In this entertaining and insightful Huffington Post article, sustainability expert Bob Brinkmann imagines what advice Don Draper would give to public figures whose climate denial is becoming a liability.
Don would know that it’s important to respect what your audience wants and needs, and to see alternative energy as an opportunity rather than a threat. He would end a client relationship that was not in his company’s best interest. And he would acknowledge the risks of climate change and meet them head on. This approach can help any business or organization continue to thrive – and it can help politicians look like visionaries and true public servants, rather than out of touch.
Bob Brinkmann, contributor to The Huffington Post
Don Draper is the ultimate alpha male. He is suave, fashionable, and almost always on point. Many have written about business lessons that can be gleaned from Mad Men’s most magnetic male role model. Given all the bad press anthropogenic climate change denialists like Rick Scott of Florida and Senator Inhofe of Oklahoma have been getting lately, I thought it would be useful to consider what advice Draper might give them. I channeled my inner Mad Man and came up with a list of five pieces of advice that would get the deniers out of the icy situation in which they find themselves.
1. Change Happens. Don Draper navigated from the staid 1950s to the swinging ’60s and the rocking ’70s with ease. He rode the currents of time by embracing science, technology, fashion, and social change. When others belittled the impact of television on advertising, Don embraced it. He did not hide from the realities of the world. Today, Don would urge deniers to open up their minds and look at the reality of the times in which they live to ensure that they were not out of step with science and social and cultural trends. At the Explorer’s Club Annual Meeting in Manhattan last week, several lecturers spoke about their research on climate change or how their efforts were adding knowledge about how our climate was changing. This discourse is occurring in scientific lecture halls all over the world. Failure to understand that change is happening gives one a professional disadvantage in the modern workplace.
Image credit: Associated Press