Is Climate Change Different?
Climate change developed as an ‘environmentalist’ issue in the public mind, but it is not straightforwardly comparable to other environmental issues. Major campaigns on poverty reduction, HIV/AIDs, and immunisation provide important lessons for public engagement, including the importance of focusing on ‘movements’ and interpersonal engagement, rather than ‘moments’ and mass communication. Radical activism has an important role to play if it complements the goals of mainstream public engagement, but too much focus on demonising ‘enemies’ may be counterproductive. The first of the five core principles for public engagement is learn lessons from previous campaigns and be prepared to test assumptions.
KeywordsCampaigns Lessons Poverty Environmentalism Health Testing assumptions
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