Not everyone believes in climate change. But mention ” less dependence on foreign oil” and “saving money” and those skeptics might just jump on board.
A year long competition sponsored by the Climate and Energy Project, encouraged Kansas residents to reduce their energy use without focusing on the politics of climate change.
According to a New York Times article, “Only 48 percent of people in the Midwest agree with the statement that there is ‘solid evidence that the average temperature on earth has been getting warmer’.”
Yet, despite this large amount of skepticism, some cities in this area were able to reduce their energy usage by 5 percent in one year.
The project seemed to be most effective because it reached the residents on a personal level, focusing on how reducing energy usage will benefit them. By speaking to the residents and local leaders, the project’s administrators could shape their plans to reach a specific audience.
Nancy Jackson, the chairwoman of the Climate and Energy Project, “worked with civic leaders to embrace green jobs as a way of shoring up or rescuing their communities. And she spoke with local ministers about ‘creation care,’ the obligation of Christians to act as stewards of the world that God gave them.”
This trial bottom-up approach focused on what was most important to the residents. Large-scale government intervention might have a bigger impact, but reaching out to smaller communities is also an effective start. It’s easier and faster to implement and doesn’t require a political debate.
Sadly, the issues of climate change is still considered a myth by many. But by modifying the discussion to appeal to skeptics, everyone, including the environment, wins.