Street based campaigning to engage people in climate action can be challenging, and sometimes campaigners wonder if it’s worth it!
People don’t always want to engage directly, and for some members of the community, hearing about climate change is confronting and so they would rather not talk about it – or even accept a flyer about a climate-related event.
But every little interaction like this is a building block for further interaction and can help in providing an opening for those people to think more about the issue down the track.
Here’s what psychologist Dr Bronwyn Wauchope had to say to some campaigners handing out flyers for the National Day of Climate Action this Sunday:
“Some people just aren’t willing to accept it’s a real problem, but don’t underestimate those momentary interactions – it’s about breaking it down for people bit by bit. Like building a house, we need to lay our foundations brick by brick. Over time this will build into a strong structure, one that people will see and want to replicate.
It can be hard when people refuse to see this reality or refuse to care about nature or others, but let’s not confuse that with how we feel – your efforts to engage and encourage others to stand up for this issue are admirable so be sure to congratulate yourselves!
Plus it’s more depressing to stand aside and do nothing, and you’re protecting our own health and well-being by taking action.
While those who declined may not give this another thought, just by having that brief interaction will increase the chance they will have a conversation later or fleetingly think about it when they see it on the TV or when a movie star speak about it.
Over time those interactions will build up, and when they hear others in their circle express concern, they’ll be more likely to share that concern.”