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Why the language of fear won’t help us stop climate change | Cheryl Heller


CHERYL HELLER: I just this
weekend was at an event called Drawdown Learn with Paul
Hawken based on his book Drawdown. And the work that he and
the group of scientists have done in explaining what we need
to do to drawdown global warming. And what’s remarkable is
that it has become practical, in other words they have proven that
refrigeration and the chemicals we use in refrigeration is the number one. Paul Hawken’s talked a lot about the
language we use to describe climate change. And his principal point was that we
treat it as an “evil that we should be afraid of”, the “war against climate
change” or the “battle against climate change”. And he went through a whole list
of the kinds of expressions we use. It’s clear when it
comes to climate change, as it’s been clear about drunk driving
and smoking and all the other things that we want people not to do,
scaring them does not work. And the more frightened they
become, and the more helpless they feel or powerless they
feel, the more they shut down. What’s brilliant about Drawdown is
you don’t need to speak in frightening generalities about climate change,
“we’re all going to die and we have ten years,” and all that
stuff we talked about, you can say—depending on what someone
is interested in—that educating young girls is actually, I forget it’s number
three or number eight in their list of what would effect climate change. And somebody on Paul Hawkins’
team was also talking about this, you can immediately get into political
battles and just dead ends when you use the words “climate change”. If you talk about a specific initiative
and you explain what it is and you talk to people who have a vested interest
in it—farmers have a vested interest in aspects of climate change,
coastal cities have a vested interest in certain aspects of climate
change—When you can make it real and when you can talk about things
that actually could be accomplished, you shift from vague and fearful
to concrete and actionable. And that’s where we are now we know the
kinds of programs that will actually make a difference. What I hope the book does is make it
clear that leading change and being able to act on the things that
matter to people is not inaccessible, it doesn’t require a special degree,
it doesn’t require superhuman power, people always say ,“I can’t draw a
straight line,” it has nothing to do with that, to become a designer! I hope that people see that
it is possible to step up, and that all that’s really needed is for
someone to decide to do it and to start where they are, to look at the reality
of the things around them and to think about who needs to be part of
a conversation and to start a conversation. Meg Wheatly talks about the fact that
all change begins with a conversation between people, and that’s really how
to begin the process of social change as well.

73 Replies to “Why the language of fear won’t help us stop climate change | Cheryl Heller”

  • Unfortunately, I don’t think the language we use matters anymore, it’s too late to stop climate change. And even more unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like we would do anything to stop it at this point even if we could.

  • The language of fear wont stop climate change, but that doesnt change the fact that any sensible person fears climate change.

    Words are just vibrations, its the meaning behind the words that matters. Climate change is not a democratic issue. You cannot vote on it. Voting on climate change is as pointless as voting on whether or not we should have a drought.

    You cant have people pretending there is plenty of water to go around when there is not. You cant have people pretending greenhouse gasses, as produced by humans, are not damaging our planet, when they are.

    Climate change is a scientific issue, and not a political one. Every person has a right to ignorance. They do not have that right to impose that ignorance on every living being on the planet

    Stop electing career-politician officials with zero science experience to stop climate change, and start implementing the best qualified scientists and engineers to solve the problem. We cannot solve this problem nor world hunger with a democratic republic. You must have only the best, and most educated minds on the subject making important planetary life or death decisions.

  • This is bullshit and fear porn. Climate DOES change, you can't stop that. However, what about the geoengineering you guys do? That's one of the main things that is destroying our planet… And killing US! This stuff you guys say, that "we humans" are destroying the planet, this is a lie. A lie to impliment agenda 2030, among other things, to get us into smart cities, take away our land, our cars, our rights. You want to control ALL aspects of our lives. Do your research people! This is the main thing the world needs to be concerned about! The things they're saying are simply not true! It's about control and depopulation.

  • Not raising the alarm, has already doomed us.
    Drawdown – the nice words – is 50 years too late.

    All of the words used in this video are "begin … start … to decide to …"
    that is where the lack of urgency has brought us.
    Not even to the starting line.

  • "It is possible to step up, and all that's really needed is for someone to decide to do it and start where they are." Inspiring words Cheryl! Thanks for the motivation!

  • Unless you can get China and India to come on board, Man's contribution will not slow. Need to topic the size growth of our sun.

  • "Global Warming" (now rebranded as "Climate Change") is nothing more than a MacGuffin. The underlying agenda is simply control. The "science" is dubious at best, the constant dire predictions spewed forth over the past decades have been nonsensical, yet we are expected to blindly surrender to totalitarian schemes of regulation and taxation. No one is even reasonably sure we have a problem, yet the "experts" forcefully bark heavy handed "solutions". Similar to the fantastical dogma offer-up by Communism and Socialism, bad ideas often linger in the hearts and minds of zealots like the scent of a rotting mouse caught in a trap. At some point in time, thinking people will toss-out the trap and its contents.

  • For Americans maybe. In the rest of the world the language of fear helped convey the threat of climate change. The Largely USA & Australian ideology of climate changes cepticism, like American football or Australian rules football, has not infected mother earth. But she has usefull insights in moving the ball forward.

  • 1.conserve water – use xeriscaping
    2.reduce energy, even solar panels pollute lets not build panels for power we don't really need.
    3.compost your food, create city service if needed but everyone should recycle food.
    these are the most important steps that everyone on our planet is capable and should be doing.

  • If voters believe that policy will hinder economic growth, you probably won't get support. Especially in industrializing Nations that have extreme poverty.

    Even if you managed to get legislation passed, if fuel & food costs skyrocket because of it, new leadership will be voted in and the policy reversed.

    Most people are more concerned with their & their family's immediate needs.

  • this is so simple, the planet do not care about climate change, that is old news and it happen a lot before, some animals and tree will not die and life on after we are all dead, but for the animals and humans on the planet that will dead because money is more impotent then them. please understand this is only a problem, because we do not fix it, this is a problem with capitalism, we got the power to fix it but we let a few rich guys take and keep the power in bank accounts, if the humans on this planet was smart enough to see, we will have a chance….

  • From what I see, climate change has become a partisan issue almost everywhere in the world.
    Typically taken up by left leaning politicians, hence most solutions offered revolve around increasing taxation, regulation and subsidies.

    The counter position typically taken by the right is opposition because they view the two things as inherently linked, climate change = taxation, heavy handed regulation and government money wasted on fruitless schemes.

    What we need to realise is that climate change mitigation can be profitable for all.

    For example, small loans to private citizens and small companies to implement proven building efficiency measures, which could then be paid back using savings in energy costs and benefit everyone in the long term.
    I'm sure there are million other non-partisan ideas out there that could make all the difference without the fight to get them implemented.

  • "But, what if we improve the Earth for no reason?"
    Ha ha, the evil leftist plot to control your lives through recycling will never be stopped! With the infinite funds of Borge Loros, we will force clean air and water upon you all!

  • Fearmongering never helps – but 'talking to people' won't cut it, either; sure, it's easier to exploit educated people than the unwashed masses, but no matter how disciplined you are, you'll have to reckon two powerful forces: humans are programmed to 1) don't care too much about anything that doesn't concern them directly and 2) tend to resist behavioral change unless short-term rewards are constantly available. Governments, on the other hand, don't have those limitations; think about that…

  • What if there is no language able to stop climate changing?
    How can you stop solar explosions to become bigger and bigger?

  • Like those before us sacrificed together for the war efforts, we now as a global society need to again sacrifice some creature comforts as we develop cleaner ways to preserve our shared environment for the future beyond us.

  • Go read the IPCC report – we're beyond fucked. 12 years to change everything to only hit 1.5c . Doesn't get more concrete than that Cheryl.

  • Awareness is a hard thing. How do you tell people who clearly don't care?

    It comes down to doing things with money that most don't have to further delay climate change. The rich could invest in delaying it, but they don't care either.

  • the language of optimism works much better. same when you want to sell something. Fear only works when your thing is the only game in town when it comes to belief otherwise you will split people in some who will support you and some who feel like "insulted" and will stand against you.

  • Assuming humans are accelerating global change, the most impactful thing we can do to slow it is to stop consuming and discarding, consuming and discarding, …. Everybody on board with that? Probably not. Get outside and enjoy nature, stop buying stuff that won't make you any happier.

  • The reason why fear won't help is because its the big oil lobbyist in the government that are the reason its so bad and they already know the dangers of what they are doing. They rather make money. Lack of regulations in the top contributing countries like China and USA are also a major factor. This isn't so much an individual's fault; that could be blamed more so with pollution with over consumption, but even then, business is a major contributor for the one use items that are tossed once a battery runs out or the one time plastic coffee pods ect

  • Thanks Cheryl, reading some of the comments below and applying the same logic to a different scenario, I now realize that when a Medical Professional advises me to stop smoking, I can assume that:
    1. He/She has no definite proof of harmful effects, just research…
    2. He/She is obviously part of a left wing conspiracy against smokers.
    3. He/She somehow profits from what is clearly propaganda.

  • So what are the radical transformative policies that will not scare people? You can't even tell Americans to not eat beef for one day in a week without them becoming terrified about the unimaginable hit to their quality of life.

  • For me it was never fear but empathy that made me want to take care of the environment. Empathy for future humans – our descendants. But I guess some people just have a hard time thinking beyond themselves.

  • If mankind's contribution to global warming / climate change was proven, there'd be no need to falsify the data for the last hundred or so years (as they've been caught doing).

  • Fridges have a chemical that is heated to produce cold, i do not know why we don't have a sun oven on the roof next to the solar panels, that heat the pipes, and build into the fridge,

  • Her underlying premise is wrong. Having been on the board of Students Against Destructive Decisions myself and been at the agency that led the anti-smoking Truth campaign, communicating the very real negative consequences of both action and inaction is what reduced both drunk driving death and smoking rates.

  • Here's something you can do about it; Make the demand for green energy and renewable sources a daily thing. Link articles on climate change routinely on your social media. Email and contact your local legislature and representatives. Tell them "Hey Have you guys planned anything about Replacing your Coal-powered energy plant yet? If not, Why did I vote for you?" Be aggressive, be determined. Share articles daily. Make it a regular conversation. Talk about amazing scientific innovations that would make your future a little better if it happened now.

  • if you ever watch a car race, drag race, missile launch, fire works display, etc – humans do not care about climate change. Maybe a few do – but most will not stop doing what they do.

    Life is too short to worry about the future – live your life for now.

  • Man caused climate change hasnt even been proven. Funny how you just call it climate change. No shit the climate changes. Why dont you call it what you used to? FRAUDS!!

  • The answer is simple: Because people don’t like being manipulated. Doesn’t matter whether the intentions are good or not.

  • As long as we keep selling gasoline-powered cars/trucks/Jeeps/lawn mowers/Trimmers/Plans/boats and much more…We will NEVER stop pumping out the oil. As long as there's money to be made. Plus the animal agriculture would need to be cut down by a lot as well. Not forgetting that we also would need all of the major global superpowers to get behind dealing with the problem as well. I honestly think we're fucked I really do. By 2030 it's gonna be a noticeable issue to everyone worldwide and by 2040 it's gonna be too late to act.

  • The boomers and their parents really did it eh.

    Why didn’t we take Nikolai Tesla as a joke again?

    Pretty certain he invented an RC boat (wireless remote) and people laughed at him and deemed it to be a useless invention.

    Skip to now and we’re reminding people we live on a ball in the void and how we have to keep that ball healthy.. because we live on it.

    This is a shame, I hope we all fix this

  • It's not a moral problem, but an engineering one. Stop making a religion out of it and make it a problem that should be solved through engineering and science.

  • I didn't know America had so many PhD's in atmospheric research who can expound at length about the precise, unambiguous, peer-reviewed evidence that conclusively shows that climate change is a hoax. By all means, please offer a link to your research papers that have been accepted by all the major scientific journals.

  • You believe in climate change? Fine….. a lot of people don't.
    How about you come up with an electric car I can afford on my $32,000 per year salary?
    Till then, shut the fuck up about climate change, I literally can't afford it…….

  • I would say being positive isn't working either because people just believe that everything will be ok and governments and corporations are happy to promote that as this takes the pressure of them. So in effect we are lying to people. We don't need everyone to be on board because everyone will not be on board. We need enough people to force governments and corporations to act. Yes we have the technology, we have the money and the resource to make the changes required but we don't have the will or the urgency to make it happen anywhere near quick enough. You don't have to scare people all the time but we did need to tell people smoking would reduce your life expectancy for them to act.

  • People need to know the truth. I'm not saying push for 'climate fear porn', but people need to know about the end of global dimming. They need to know about the melting of 450 power plants. We need to face the problem as it is. Stuart Scott has recently interviewed Guy Mcpherson on the UPFSI youtube channel about our predicament. They have an interesting discussion about fear and the approaching of this subject.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RQJi2s0kefM

  • Why? Because we've entered an era that, magically, has no facts anyway, only opinions. We can't get any action on something like climate change until we've settled the new "debate" on whether the world is actually round. There's simply too much money in idiots and working in the idiot-service industry. You can't inspire fear in anyone if they really think that the solution is to simply believe in another "reality" they like better – "That's not a train coming; it's a magical cyclops centipede that's going to give me a billion dollars, so I'm going to stand right here!".

  • Is Global Warming in The Holy Bible? The WORD of God?

    Christianity is the only Religion of TRUTH. In Deuteronomy 28, Almighty God YAHWEH, told Moses that He would Bless the Nations by making it RAIN (WATER), but, Israel would have to worship the True Living God only, and keep His Commands, and not worship any other false gods (small letter 'g'). PLEASE READ DEUTERONOMY 28.All Scientists in

    the World, including CERN Geneva, say that the most abundant Element in the World is Hydrogen (God Particle). Hydrogen 2 Oxygen = WATER… WATER= LIFE. Saint Peter said 2000 years ago in 2 Peter 3 Verse 5 in The Holy Bible: They purposely ignore the fact that long ago God gave a command, and the heavens and the earth were created. The earth was formed out of WATER (Hydrogen/God Particle) and by WATER (HOLY SPIRIT of YAHWEH).

    The Holy Bible John 19 Verse 34: One of the soldiers, however, plunged his spear into JESUS's side, and at once BLOOD and WATER (HOLY SPIRIT of YAHWEH/GOD PARTICLE) poured out.

    1 John 5. The Witness about JESUS Christ.

    JESUS Christ is the one who came with the WATER (HOLY SPIRIT) of His Baptism and the BLOOD of His death. He came not only with the WATER, but both the WATER and the BLOOD. And the Spirit himself testifies that this is true, because the Spirit is TRUTH. There are three witnesses; the SPIRIT, the WATER, and the BLOOD; and all three give the same testimony.

    God Bless! The manna in the DESERT was the Holy Eucharist, the Body of Christ. Everything begins and ends at the CROSS.

    There is many places in The Holy Bible where we can compare Almighty God YAHWEH to Our Lord JESUS Christ. The Jews must just read Psalm 22, Psalm 110, Isaiah 52 and 53 and Jeremiah 31 Verses 31 to 35, and the Jews will see the similarity.

    ///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////The Holy Bible is TRUTH.

    1) Genesis 1 Verses 1 and 2: In the beginning, when God created the Universe, the Earth was formless and desolate. The raging ocean (WATER=Hydrogen2Oxygen=God Particle=LIFE) that covered everything was engulfed in total darkness, and the Power of God (HOLY SPIRIT) was moving over the WATER (WATER=Hydrogen2Oxygen=God Particle=LIFE). When Scientists look for LIFE on other Planets, they look for WATER (WATER=Hydrogen2Oxygen=God Particle=LIFE).

    John 19 Verse 34: One of the soldiers, however, plunged his spear into JESUS' side, and at once BLOOD and WATER (WATER=Hydrogen2Oxygen=God Particle=LIFE) poured out.

    2000 years ago Saint Peter said in 2 Peter 3 Verse 5: They purposely ignore the fact that long ago God gave a command, and the Heavens and Earth were created. THE EARTH WAS FORMED OUT OF WATER (WATER=Hydrogen2Oxygen=God Particle=LIFE) AND BY WATER (HOLY SPIRIT of the FATHER YAHWEH).

    2) Genesis 3 Verse 8: That evening, Adam and Eve heard the Lord God WALKING (God has LEGS) in the Garden, and they hid from Him among the trees. But the Lord God CALLED OUT (God has a MOUTH and a VOICE) to the man, "Where are you?" (God was LOOKING for Adam and Eve, so God has EYES). Genesis 18 Verse 1 and 2: The Lord (1) appeared to Abraham at the sacred trees of Mamre. As Abraham was sitting at the entrance of his tent during the hottest part of the day, he looked up and saw *THREE MEN STANDING THERE*(3).

    Genesis 28 Verses 12 and 13: Jacob dreamt that he saw a stairway reaching from Earth to Heaven, with angels going up and coming down on it. And there was the Lord STANDING (God has FEET) beside him. "I AM the Lord, the God of Abraham and Isaac."

    Genesis 32 Verse 30: Jacob said, "I have SEEN God face to face (God has a FACE), and I am still alive."

    Isaiah 7 Verse 14: Well, then, the Lord Himself will give you a sign: a young woman (Virgin) who is pregnant will have a Son and will Name Him 'Immanuel' (God with Us). Our Lord JESUS Christ is God with Us.

    Zachariah 10 Verse 1: Ask the Lord for RAIN (WATER=Hydrogen2Oxygen=God Particle=LIFE) in the spring of the year. It is the Lord who sends RAIN CLOUDS and SHOWERS (WATER=Hydrogen2Oxygen=God Particle=LIFE), making the fields green for everyone.

    Zachariah 14 Verse 17: If any nation refuses to go and worship the Lord Almighty as KING, then RAIN (WATER=Hydrogen2Oxygen=God Particle=LIFE) will not fall on their land.

    So, if you want India to flourish with the Blessings of WATER, then you will have no choice but to Worship the True Living God, YAHWEH the HOLY SPIRIT, Who is present in Our Lord JESUS Christ. If not.. your beautiful Country with it's beautiful people will die because of a lack of WATER just like all Muslim Countries have turned into a DESERT. (WATER=LIFE). JESUS says, "I AM the WAY, the TRUTH and the LIFE" (John 14 Verse 6). And in another part of the Scripture Jesus says, "Whoever is thirsty should come to me and drink. Whoever BELIEVES in me, streams of LIFE-GIVING WATER will pour out from his heart."

    In the Middle East, all Muslim Countries have turned into barren, dead and lifeless DESERTS and Eastern pagan religions will not help the people at all. The Time is running out, and the next War will be because of WATER.. So what YOU going to do?

  • Drawdown is great, but we need to stop assuming that saving the climate can be paid out of pocket money. There is no lack of solutions, there is a complacency that the actions we are taking are sufficient. They are not. How do you propose to talk about that, about a real threat of catastrophe?

  • Refrigerants containing fluorine – FCKW – were once a big problem. But they are no longer used globally since a long time. It's still up there, though – the whole issue is because the molecules are extremely stable. Now, we need to care about CO2 – CO2 can also be used as refrigerant, but that's beside the point here. Is this text from 2018 really, or outdated a decade or so?

  • Look its simple. If you want long term solution to the supposed AGW, then control the fucking population growth. Don't tell the poor and middle classes you need to freeze and starve so the few affluents can live in comfort. Control the population so it reduces and puts less pressure onto existing resources. The idea getting put forward to tackle supposed AGW is PRODUCE LESS BABIES….

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