Behaviour Change

PROPAGANDA FOR CHANGE is a project created by the students of Behaviour Change (ps359) and Professor Thomas Hills @thomhills at the Psychology Department of the University of Warwick. This work was supported by funding from Warwick's Institute for Advanced Teaching and Learning.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

An Inconvenient Truth: A Convenient Review
Earthquakes, flash floods, breaking icebergs: these are the drastic climatological changes that have been captured in the film ‘The Day After Tomorrow’ which were thought could never happen is of no concern. As such, the film is supposed to present an incredibly outlandish situation that no one in their mind would wish to experience. However, in recent years, there are a motherload of totally destructive climatological catastrophes that certainly deliver a message of ‘earth danger’ which successfully draws public’s attention to environmental issues with caution. Would those special effects of impending disaster featured in the film finally becomes reality?
Being inspired by the scenes of destruction and spectacle moments of dramatic action presented in the film, the former Vice President Al Gore produced a documentary called ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ revealed the global warming’s deadly progress by exposing the myths and misconceptions that surround it. The documentary discussed the scientific facts behind global warming, explained the disastrous consequences if the world’s government and citizens did not act, and shared what people could act against these crisis to protect the earth and future generations.
With the use of fear appeal, guilt tactics, scientific based evidence, and misleading inference, he offered a passionate and inspirational look at one man’s commitment to inspire audience to take responsibility for their own actions – a catastrophe of their own making. In his eye-opening and poignant portrait of Gore and his presentation, he also stressed the severity of ‘environmental scarcities’ – a term used to describe the degradation of land and water resource (Dixon, 1994). Of the major environmental changes facing humankind, land and water deprivation are attributed to increased carbon emissions from fossil fuel burning. Assuming burning as usual, Gore maintained the view that these problems are expected to intensify.
Facing several environmental degradations due to climate change, individuals may decide to migrate to high developing countries where food security and health are less affected. The cost of ‘environmental scarcities’ is an undue focus on the necessity at hand, which leads to a lack of judgment about wider issues, and an ability to imagine longer-term consequences. The effect of the ‘environmental scarcities’ may has catastrophic results in particular in relation to international conflicts (Rafael Reuveny, 2006), for example, tension between ethnic groups. Therefore, underdeveloped societies are at high risk of facing environmental threats, particularly if they depend on environment for livelihood should make rational choices before exit.
In general, humanity is now sitting on a time bomb.  If the contents of the presentation are the exact reflection of such a global crisis, we have limited time to avert a major catastrophe that could send the entire planet into a tail-spin of epic destruction. Being active or remain neutral, it is entirely up to us.

Homer-Dixon, Thomas F. "Environmental scarcities and violent conflict: evidence from cases." International security 19.1 (1994): 5-40.
Reuveny, Rafael. "Climate change-induced migration and violent conflict." Political Geography 26.6 (2007): 656-673.

1 comment:

  1. Lovely blog but not much of analysis of persuasive techniques.


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