Sometimes, you get this sensation that everything around you is made of the stuff dreams are made of. Can't be touched, can't be budged, can't be changed. This seems to be the case with global warming. Whatever you do, whatever you say, whatever you try, everything seems to move slowly and ponderously as in a dream; in the wrong direction.
Why is Global Warming Such A Conversation Killer?!!
The first thing we want to acknowledge is the bravery and generosity of all the people who have already engaged in the conversation and were moved to donate to the campaign. We know how busy life gets and how much generosity and effort it takes to stand behind something. Thank you.
We would also like to share something strange that happened earlier this week. We launched a crowdfunding campaign that fell completely flat. Our friends — wonderful people who care so much about making a difference in the world — responded to the announcement by, with… silence.
We were surprised to discover that people who normally write back to emails didn’t write back. People who like content on our Facebook walls didn’t engage. People who support climate action didn’t support the campaign with pledges of support. It was as if we called out from our front porch with a “Y’all come for good food and great conversation!” and no one showed up. Building on the research study we conducted last year, we realized that this campaign got right down to the difficult and provoking conversation that causes most of the world to shut down or walk away. This was fascinating!
We saw a similar pattern in our mailing list. Lots of people open our emails (typically 35-40%) and many of them click through to the offerings we provide (somewhere around 15-20%). And yet when we launched ClimateMeme2 there was a tepid 4% rate click-through.
The question we are grappling with now is: Why is global warming such a buzz kill? Climate change clearly is not a trendy topic right now. The total lack of buzz among our highly engaged passionista community earlier this week was a clear message and wake up call. We are also asking ourselves: Where did we mess up or poorly communicate? We really want to know! Human-induced climate change is a planetary threat to the entire human tribe. And yet most members of the human tribe manage to deny it, have a cynical opinion and avoid thinking about it (or acting upon it) in their daily lives. There is something larger going on, and we want to observe and play with this.
And so we are shifting our focus from the horizon where we planned to conduct another detailed study on the memes that people have in their heads instead of global warming. Now what we want to dig further into what are the belief systems in place that are blocking the climate change conversation from happening.
We would love to engage in a conversation with you about this. We welcome your candid and honest feedback in the comments below.
Some inquiries we would like to pose to the group:
- If you were engaged and clicked through or donated, what about our project engaged your passions?
- If you weren’t, why not? What was it about the project that turned you off?
- Is there some other topic that would have gotten you engaged? What would you rather see us doing right now?
- What will it take to transform global warming into a trendy and important topic that people want to talk about? What examples of empowering climate change conversations have you seen or been a part of? What about it gave you power and hope?
Joe, Lazlo and Ting