Persuasion Strategies: Effective Environmental Advocacy to Unreceptive Audiences

Peace, Prosperity, Planet: How avoiding conflict resources can result in a more sustainable supply chain

Sean McFeely

Mcfeely Oil

Anthropogenic climate change poses a dire threat to global stability and the health of our planet. Despite the severity of the crisis, many policymakers remain unconvinced of either the existence of the crisis or the urgency required to keep global temperature rise within a bearable threshold. My research asked:  How can environmental advocates persuade "Dismissive” lawmakers to enact environmentally-friendly policies?

My paper explored the body of academic research connected to environmental persuasion in order to synthesize a realistic and workable approach for advocacy in the face of climate denial or doubt. While in an ideal world all lawmakers would embrace the science of anthropogenic climate change, the short window of opportunity in which climate action must be taken to reduce catastrophic warming necessitates that we embrace unconventional advocacy tactics.  I began with a review of the literature in order to better understand the various audiences and advocacy tactics which might be employed to persuade Republican policy-makers, then applied these findings in a draft policy proposal memo.