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Topic: Conservatives are willing to combat climate change - when it’s not called “climate change” (Read 387 times) previous topic - next topic

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  • osmanthus
  • Administrator
  • Fingerer of piglets
Conservatives are willing to combat climate change - when it’s not called “climate change”
Figured I'd throw this in here since it's about behavourial stuff. The Science board is currently focused on the science of popcorn, while the Politics board is currently the "ZOMFG Trump we're all gonna dieeeeee!!!" board. This board needs some love.

So outlined in the article is an interesting and, even better, apparently effective approach.

Conservatives are willing to combat climate change -- when it's not called "climate change"

Quote
But climate change itself is negatively affecting people's lifestyles, and Romsdahl feels that framing environmental policies as protect-your-lifestyle policies may be a way to leverage that impulse for good.

For example, Romsdahl noted that warmer winters could ruin "winter festivals in northern states" because the weather isn't cold enough to "do activities commonly associated with winter festivals, like ice sculptures." Instead of framing a policy to reduce greenhouse emissions in terms of "climate change," politicians could frame it in terms of saving the region's winter festival.

It's understandable if this suggestion rankles coastal liberals and other members of the reality-based community. Who cares about winter festivals in sparsely inhabited states when global warming is causing serious problems around the globe, like droughts and resource conflicts? Shouldn't we worry more about how to encourage people to accept scientific facts and understand their moral duty to reduce their damage to the environment?

Well, it would be nice if people were better than they are. But as Romsdahl observed, holding out for people to change their way of thinking on this issue isn't doing the cause of environmentalism any favors.

"Continuing to talk about the science and the moral imperative to take action isn't going to have any effect," Romsdahl said. "It hasn't had enough effect so far."

<snip>

How much of a spin needs to be put on environmental policies will vary greatly from community to community. The city of Fargo, North Dakota, for instance, is relatively liberal by Great Plains standards; its website on environmental policy does use terms like "climate change" and "carbon footprint." But Fargo's program to capture methane gas from a landfill and convert it into electricity is still packaged more as a money- and energy-saving measure than a greenhouse gas reduction measure, making it easier for conservatives in the area to accept.

It's a shame that anything associated with liberal ideology is so demonized that rational discussions with conservatives become nearly impossible. We see this problem with the Affordable Care Act as well. When it's called "Obamacare," many conservatives will refuse to support it, even if they like the specific policies contained in the law.

Unfortunately, we can't wait around for conservatives to get over themselves in order to deal with the problem of climate change. The effects are happening now and must be dealt with. If reframing the issue in terms that are easier for conservatives to swallow helps get important policy changes in motion, activists and leaders shouldn't hesitate to use a little spin.
Truth is out of style

  • MikeS
Re: Conservatives are willing to combat climate change - when it’s not called “climate change”
Reply #1
Figured I'd throw this in here since it's about behavourial stuff. The Science board is currently focused on the science of popcorn, while the Politics board is currently the "ZOMFG Trump we're all gonna dieeeeee!!!" board. This board needs some love.

So outlined in the article is an interesting and, even better, apparently effective approach.

Conservatives are willing to combat climate change -- when it's not called "climate change"

Quote
How much of a spin needs to be put on environmental policies will vary greatly from community to community. The city of Fargo, North Dakota, for instance, is relatively liberal by Great Plains standards; its website on environmental policy does use terms like "climate change" and "carbon footprint." But Fargo's program to capture methane gas from a landfill and convert it into electricity is still packaged more as a money- and energy-saving measure than a greenhouse gas reduction measure, making it easier for conservatives in the area to accept.

Well, that's a false interpretation.  I was personally involved in the discussion with Fargo, and the solid waste department, when they were discussing the expansion of their methane collection wells (because their landfill was expanding) and what to do with the extra gas.

They had the choice to either sell it direct or to build an engine and make electricity for their own use.  They chose the latter for a variety of reasons including a green footprint and beneficial use of a municipal resource, but monetary payback had to be there for the project to move forward and the money to be secured.  IIRC, the project ended up with a 7+ year payback, a value that most corporations would not invest but that municipalities will consider since they have a longer time horizen for investment.