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Sustainable Futures 

July 15, 2010

Links n’ Resources Vol 1

I spend a fair amount of  time researching diverse topics such as sustainable behavior, carbon pollution impacts, ecosystems services, and energy efficiency, and I often come across interesting and engaging resources during my virtual travels.

So I thought it would be worthwhile to regularly publish some of my favorite links. Here’s the first batch, all revolving around climate change. Future links will explore a myriad of topics.

More Heat, Less Light

This article, although quite long, delivers a good historical background on climate change attitudes in the US, and explores new strategies being adapted by educators, policy makers and activists.

Expert credibility in climate change

This is the most recent study on climate change consensus among peer-reviewed climate scientists. It finds that the vast majority of actively publishing climate scientists (97-98%) unequivocally agree that climate change is happening because of human carbon pollution. Although information like this will not often sway skeptics, this is nonetheless a great resource for anyone interested in understanding where the scientific community really stands on climate change.

Jigsaw puzzle vs. house-of-cards

I found this article, which examines two very different climate change science metaphors, to be eye-opening. It helps me wrap my mind around the large gap that separates my viewpoint from that of many skeptics. Understanding the nature and size of this gap is essential when designing programs and exhibits meant to appeal to a diverse audience.

How facts backfire

The barriers to a sustainable future are psychological, institutional and cultural, not technological or resource-based. This study explores one of those barriers by illustrating  just how little facts matter in human decision making. Apparently, once we’ve made up our mind about something, it’s very unlikely we’ll change  it, even when confronted with solid evidence to the contrary. This means that those of us in the business of advocating for sustainable change need to do a better job of connecting with our audiences, rather than simply throwing facts at them. I’ll talk more about this in a future post.

Aaron


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