Wednesday, 24 December 2008

The Big Ask: 80% by 2050 - Friends of the Earth

Two years ago FOE launched a UK campaign to cut CO2 emissions by 3% more each year, an 80% cut by 2050. The Climate Change Act became law on 26 Nov 2008. FOE is now widening its campaign with a video The Big Ask -- made with more than 6000 volunteers on the Belgian coast at Ostend, now showing in 17 European countries.

Credits: director Nic Balthazar, music by Hooverphonic, actors: Herr Seele, Michaël Pas, Ann Miller, Benthe De Graeve.

George Monbiot argues that climate action needs a new psychology:
"The transition towns network and proposals for a green new deal tell a story which people are more willing to hear...[in the book] Carbon Detox, George Marshall argues that people are not persuaded by information. Our views are formed by the views of the people with whom we mix. Of the narratives that might penetrate these circles, we are more likely to listen to those which offer us some reward....

"A story which tells us that the world is cooking and that we’ll have to make sacrifices for the sake of future generations is less likely to be accepted than the more rewarding idea [from the denial industry - see Montbiot's Heat ch.2] that climate change is a conspiracy hatched by scheming governments and venal scientists, and that strong, independent-minded people should unite to defend their freedoms.

"He proposes that instead of arguing for sacrifice, environmentalists should show where the rewards might lie: that understanding what the science is saying and planning accordingly is the smart thing to do, which will protect your interests more effectively than flinging abuse at scientists. We should emphasise the old-fashioned virtues of uniting in the face of a crisis, of resourcefulness and community action."
The Big Ask is an example of this new psychology. But Monbiot also argues that government lying with statistics has undermined the UK climate bill.

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