Saturday, November 28, 2009

Climategate's Little Red Book

Included in the documents leaked with the East Anglia Climatic Research Unit emails is an interesting little piece that could have been entitled, "Mind Control for Dummies," but goes under the less sinister sobriquet, "The Rules of the Game - Evidence base for the Climate Change Communications Strategy" (full text posted here).

It bears this message on the cover:
The game is communicating climate change;
the rules will help us win it."
The pamphlet was forwarded to Tim Osborn of CRU by Saffron O’Neill, formerly of CRU, but now with the University of Melbourne:
Hi Tim

I've found some 'communicating cc' ref's which I've attached - nothing too hard going! Futerra's 'rules of the game' is a good intro to what climate change communicators should be working towards in terms of best practice. Sophie's poster is a summary of the main findings of her PhD research from a couple of years back in ENV, and is a message that some NGOs in particular would still do well to heed! Finally, the communicating CC document is an
outline of Defra's recent initiative, as followed on from Futerra's
consultancy work.
"Defra" is the innocuously named British Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs. The pamphlet was produced by Futerra, a private firm dedicated to selling various Green agenda; "For over eight years we've helped you save the world."

A few techniques they're using to save the world:

Sex sells:
6. Use both peripheral and central processing
Attracting direct attention to an issue can change attitudes, but
peripheral messages can be just as effective: a tabloid snapshot
of Gwyneth Paltrow at a bus stop can help change attitudes to
public transport.
Be trendy:
8. Use transmitters and social learning
People learn through social interaction, and some people are
better teachers and trendsetters than others. Targeting these
people will ensure that messages seem more trustworthy and are
transmitted more effectively.
Commoners are stupid and selfish oafs:
3. There is no ‘rational man’
The evidence discredits the ‘rational man’ theory – we rarely weigh
objectively the value of different decisions and then take the clear
self-interested choice.