Interesting survey of the views of Cancun Climate Summit participants, and classic example of ‘heroic actor bias’ *
For instance, when asked: “What cases will compel a change in public attitudes?”
65% said: stories of human suffering due to extreme weather such as drought or floods, and
54% said: evidence that climate change will negatively affect the economy.
Really, I would have thought this kind of bad news would push more people into denial, preventing a change in public attitudes. Better to tell positive stories that empower people to act, and their attitudes will follow.
* An attributional bias that overestimates the influence of knowledge or expertise controlled by the subject. You could also call it ‘projection’, where we assume that the public SHOULD be motivated by the same things that motivate us.