Scary Warnings Promote Apathy, Not Action
Professor Mike Hulme, of the Tyndall Centre at the UEA (my alma mater), has conducted research on attitudes to climate change warnings in the media. "There has been over-claiming or exaggeration, or at the very least casual use of language by scientists, some of whom are quite prominent," he told the BBC. He believes that the sensationalist warnings often given by the media lead to apathy rather than action. People subjected to the "Hollywoodisation" of climate change tended to think that it was inevitable, and beyond their capability to affect. A more sober approach would be more effective, he argues.
Is it better to shock people, or to give them the facts? I think that certain people will be pushed into action by worrying news reports, but sinking the whole world into an environmental-doom-depression is very counter-productive. :: BBC