Attitude Change Working Group


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Preliminary Recommendations for Achieving Attitude and Behavior Change to Mitigate the Effects of  Climate Change: 

* Focus especially on people who have a high probability of championing the cause, thus reaching the most people with minimal effort. One broad group in particular may be religious leaders, who by virtue of their sheer numbers and the position of respected authority they hold within their organizations may be especially well placed to exert positive influence on many of their followers.

* Know the values/attributes of the people who need to change (the change agents).  Appeals for attitude change should have cognitive, emotional and behavioral components; depending on the audience, one appeal can be emphasized more than another. Create a message that is aligned with the values/attributes of the change agents.

* Respond to the need to change behavior in terms of the shared values of family, religion, ethics and life sustainability.

* Over time, develop and promulgate a carefully-crafted repertoire of social marketing around the climate change issue and its mitigation.

* Emphasize that the issue of climate change is unique and different from other previous world problems.  It constitutes a superordinate goal, requiring cooperation among many diverse peoples in order to reach resolution.  Networks, formal and informal, will need to be built in order to ensure the involvement of a broad spectrum of people and ideas, as well as geographical reach.

* Recognize types of and reasons for resistance and address as needed.  Recognize that underlying the defensive behavior is anxiety about oneís own role and what one will need to change about oneself in order to resolve the issue. Be supportive and respectful of people as individuals while emphasizing the continuing need for them to become active participants in the mitigation effort.