Reorienting climate change communication for effective mitigation - forcing people to be green or fostering grass-roots engagement?

Ockwell, David, Whitmarsh, Lorraine and O'Neil, Saffron (2009) Reorienting climate change communication for effective mitigation - forcing people to be green or fostering grass-roots engagement? Science Communication, 30 (3). pp. 305-327. ISSN 1075-5470

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Abstract

Climate communication approaches expend significant resources promoting attitudinal change, but research suggests that encouraging attitudinal change alone is unlikely to be effective. The link between an individual's attitudes and subsequent behavior is mediated by other influences, such as social norms and the 'free-rider' effect. One way to engender mitigative behaviors would be to introduce regulation that forces green behavior, but government fears a resulting loss of precious political capital. Conversely, communication approaches that advocate individual, voluntary action ignore the social and structural impediments to behavior change. The authors argue that there are two crucial, but distinct, roles that communication could play in engaging the public in low carbon lifestyles: first, to facilitate public acceptance of regulation and second, to stimulate grass-roots action through affective and rational engagement with climate change. The authors also argue that using communication to stimulate demand for regulation may reconcile these 'top-down' and 'bottom-up' approaches.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Global Studies > Geography
Related URLs:
Depositing User: David Ockwell
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 15:13
Last Modified: 27 Sep 2012 09:13
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/11108
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