Editor's Note: In a recent article in The Greater Good Magazine, psychologist Per Espen Stoknes explained how to reframe climate change discussions so that we feel inspired to act.
Excerpted from the article, "How to Overcome 'Apocalypse Fatigue' Around Climate Change" are a few points that one can use when discussing climate change issues:
There are three main frames that seem to create more engagement and work much better than catastrophe framings or other negative framings (when it comes to discussing climate change).
- One framing involves speaking about climate change as a health issue concerning people we care about—our families, our children. We don’t want respiratory disease, so we all want clean air.
- The second is a safety or insurance framing. It’s about being prepared or ready in case something goes in the wrong direction—a risk management approach, that speaks to business/financial people. They work actively and professionally with risk and understand the need to insure.
- Finally, we should speak about opportunities for smarter cities, smarter buildings, better food sources, smarter energy systems and transportation systems, and all the opportunities that empowerment from these technologies gives us for better lives.
If we are able to reframe the climate issue this way in our society’s discourse, there is less fear and guilt attached to it—more a sense of “collective efficacy” or the idea that we can do something together as a society.