Sea level rise is a complicated global problem that will affect local communities quite differently. A study recently published in Science details the physiological side of inaction, and the disconnect between knowing there is a problem and taking individual actions to help solve the problem. Quite pointlessly, the states:
Human beings are reticent to change their behavior even under the most compelling of circumstances, and environmental dangers do not tend to arouse the kind of urgency that motivates individuals to act.
But, we need to learn how to communicate and motivate action. That action needs to be framed properly and done at a local level. The authors detail:
These and other psychological “dragons of inaction” explain why humans are failing to take sufficient action to address environmental degradation. Social scientists are developing psychologically informed strategies to overcome barriers and encourage pro-environmental behavior. Specific tools include framing information about an issue such as climate change to emphasize current and local impacts, creating incentives that increase the short-term rewards of a sustainable action, and encouraging social modeling to reset the perceived social norm around a pro-environmental behavior.
The article is correct in stating that we need to reward sustainable action – this is the key to creating sustainable communities. At Brizaga, we are here to help your business or community become a leader in resilience, while ensuring that there are financial and other benefits to action. The research was written up by The Guardian (May 19, 2017), and the article can be found here.