Doomsday Warnings About

Feb. 11, 2011

If you’re trying to motivate your employees or tenants to be more eco-friendly, skip the gloom-and-doom approach. A study by the University of California-Berkeley shows that overly negative messages about global warming can backfire by making people more skeptical.

"The scarier the message, the more people who are committed to viewing the world as fundamentally stable and fair are motivated to deny it," explains Matthew Feinberg, co-author of the study.

These warnings of environmental catastrophe may push individuals into complacency. A recent Gallup poll found that 19% of Americans don’t believe in global warming and 48% feel the claims are exaggerated. Framing the environment in apocalyptic terms only reinforces their standpoint.

The study also found that when positive solutions and factual information are presented about global warming, people are more likely to feel ecological problems are solvable. Robb Willer, lead author of the research, says, "Our results complement recent research showing that framing environmentalism as patriotic can successfully increase pro-environmental behavioral intentions in those most attached to the status quo."

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Buildings, create an account today!

Sponsored Recommendations

Building Better Schools

Download this digital resource to better understand the challenges and opportunities in designing and operating educational facilities for safety, sustainability, and performance...

Tips to Keep Facility Management on Track

How do you plan to fill the knowledge gap as seasoned facility managers retire or leave for new opportunities? Learn about the latest strategies including FM tech innovations ...

The Beauty & Benefits of Biophilic Design in the Built Environment

Biophilic design is a hot trend in design, but what is it and how can building professionals incorporate these strategies for the benefits of occupants? This eHandbook offers ...

The Benefits of Migrating from Analog to DMR Two-Way Radios

Are you still using analog two-way radios? Download this white paper and discover the simple and cost-effective migration path to digital DMR radios that deliver improved audio...