* Selling Climate Change to Trump Voters *

I recently tweeted about telling the climate story better ( https://twitter.com/AukeHoekstra/status/1326175135087341570). Now I want to take it to the next level.

I will use Haidt's research into the moral roots of liberals and conservatives and Pinker's into progress.
I think the first step is letting go of the hatred of progress that many 'progressive' intellectuals display. Here @sapinker (whose presentation I will use in the following tweets) says it eloquently.
This rejection of progress hampers our effort to address climate change. Instead of working on solutions people become numb and hopeless. Doom prophets should replace their smug negativity with some actual research and test their doom and gloom hypotheses.
And then it turns out they are flat wrong. Just watch the presentation for countless examples.
We don't know if progress will continue and climate change and animal suffering are still moving in the wrong direction but denying past successes is simply dumb and betrays an inability to process numbers. We must move beyond the doom and gloom.
So a first step towards Trump voters would be to let go of the apparently comfortable untruth that we cannot tackle climate change. Embrace some data-driven progress, pride, and optimism. We have a problem to solve: let's go!
An even bigger step is to acknowledge what @JonHaidt calls our 5-channel Moral Equalizer. Let me talk you through the five moral fundamentals and then show you how they are very different for liberals and conservatives.

We all share a desire to care for those we empathize with and to keep them from harm. This is part of EVERY culture he studied. So this really is common ground. (Hold your fire: I'll come to the seeming exceptions in a second.)
We also share a wish for fairness and reciprocity. (Again: hold your fire.)
But conservatives have three additional channels: ingroup loyalty, respect for authority, and a search for purity/sanctity. It is visualized in the graph and holds true for liberals and conservatives in all countries Jonathan Haidt researched.
Ingroup/loyalty is more important to conservatives. So the more you are part of the group, the more they will do for you. This seems morally wrong to me but that's irrelevant here: you either recognize it and work with it or you don't solve problems. Your choice.
Respect for authority is something else many conservatives value more. Like loyalty they consider it a way to reduce chaos and preserve peace and prosperity. Many liberals actually like a bit of chaos. That's fine. But realize others don't and respect that.
Fun example: guess what kind of dog advertisement appeals to liberals and what kind to conservatives.

As Jonathan Haidt jokes: "Liberals like to say to their dog 'Fetch! Please.'
Finally a search for purity and sanctity. Basically the opposite of "if two adults consent to it, anything goes". On the left I see cancel culture is an example of striving for 'purity'. I would encourage you to recognize what purity/sanctity others are striving for.
These pictures drive the difference home even better.
By know you might realise that our righteous minds were "designed" to unite us into teams, divide us against other teams and blind us to the truth. Don't fall into that trap. Use enlightened reason (see also Steven Pinkers presentation) to understand both sides.
Of course you must strive for a world that YOU find morally good. But understand that you have to work with others that have a different moral equalizer and try to imagine what arguments would resonate with them. That's not manipulative. It's respectful.
So what does it mean for our climate change story?

1) That climate change can cause harm and suffering is a message that will resonate with everybody. Also preserving nature resonates with most people although in a different way. (I'll do a thread on that and biomass soon.)
2) Fairness/reciprocity is a shared value. This means that the argument that climate change disproportionally hits the poor and vulnerable is something that resonates with both liberals and conservatives. BUT...
3) Conservatives are more concerned with damage to and fairness in their family/tribe. So make it local. How will their country/group profit?

(Working with the UN to save climate refugees in an unknown country doesn't have as much priority.)
Instead show how renewables create more and better jobs than coal and how its decentralized nature means money and power stays in their own family and community. Also explain about local resilience and energy justice.
4) Respect for authority in conservatives can be used to speed things along. Find or create respected authority figures and make them spell it out in unambiguous terms. Create a sense of control and order.
5) Purity contains a lot of untapped potential. I'm agnostic but can have great conversations with conservative Christians on how green energy means taking care of creation and how fossil fuels are dirty in so many ways.
Nobody want to make climate change worse. So let's get everybody on board of the effort to combat it. And I think using the three additional sliders on the moral equalizer can really energize the climate movement and speed things up further.
So next time you sell climate change to a conservative: explain how it's progress, show what's in it for their tribes, create an authority with an ordered plan, and show how we take better care of the world in a way that resonates with them.
You can follow @AukeHoekstra.
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