I was most interested by the importance of framing in messaging for climate change advocacy. The outdated and ineffective imagery of a polar bear no longer cuts it in terms of raising awareness about the warming of the planet. Gina McCarthy puts forth a view that science must be promoted in a way that makes it relevant to peoples lives and digestible by people from all walks of life. Avoiding technical language, finding painpoints that are relevant to the audiences they are intending to reach, and putting forth information in a way that will highlight its urgency clearly and understandably all contribute to this new initiative on messaging. In a way, it’s climate change marketing - we have to strategically present the argument in a way that’s going to be salient and relevant to all.
My question to Gina McCarthy would be as follows. You mention how science is taught in school and also how Harvard freshmen may be equipped to politically represent this problem - when would you change the narrative for future generations? Can we rectify the lack of urgency felt by current generations, or can we only concentrate our efforts on educating the young and malleable to correctly understand the need to take this problem seriously?
Great argument, that's exactly what stood out to me from the interview.
I think the question about whether we can convey these messages about the urgency of climate change to an older demographic is interesting. You mentioned the importance of using a variety marketing messages that resonate with different audiences in motivating them to take action. I would imagine that there are certain images that would appeal to this older demographic in particular. Specifically, messages that refer to future generations (children, grandchildren, etc.) and the legacy an older generation intends to behind may be effective in spurring these individuals to action. While it may be harder to change their actual behavior, I believe there might be marketing methods that would encourage an older demographic to shift their mindset about the issue.