7.5 Communication

The same modes of communication that allow us to keep personally informed can lead to rapid change at a societal level if integrated with the same systems that permit collective intelligence (even though it may not be formally seen as such). Thus, innovation and learning can, on some occasions, occur widely and rapidly as where combinations of media coverage and key events led to increased awareness of climate change issues. Similarly, the problem of feeling overwhelmed by large-scale issues and thus remaining inactive can be overcome by networking, which not only reduces isolation, but can also put us in contact with groups, organisations and individuals who are already taking effective and innovative action.

Activity 20

  • Combining governmental and non-governmental sources, how effective are these at providing you with information that you trust about national and global action on climate change? What developments can you think of that would improve this? Try to list at least three possible improvements and perform a Web search to see if you can find them – it is possible that they exist but are unfamiliar.

  • With the mass media always seeking new stories, how can long-term climate change issues maintain the high public profile which is arguably essential if policy-makers are to make the tough decisions needed to tackle climate change?

  • Politicians have tended to state that, although transition to a low-carbon economy will involve changes, our underlying lifestyles in the developed world can be maintained. Do you feel that this is the case with sufficient planning, effective policy-making/enforcement and innovation? Do you think that any activities may need to cease or at least be severely reduced?