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« Welcome, Malcolm | Main | My purple hat »

The problem with "global warming"

We are facing what might be the greatest threat ever to the future of mankind.

And yet no one is marching in the streets, the outrage is largely intellectual and action is slow. (If you want to argue about the science, please visit the link above, this is a post about the marketing!)

Is the lack of outrage because of the population's decision that this is bad science or perhaps a thoughtful reading of the existing data?

Actually, the vast majority of the population hasn't even thought about the issue. The muted reaction to our impending disaster comes down to two things:

1. the name.

Global is good.
Warm is good.
Even greenhouses are good places.

How can "global warming" be bad?

I'm not being facetious. If the problem were called "Atmosphere cancer" or "Pollution death" the entire conversation would be framed in a different way.

2. the pace and the images.

One degree every few years doesn't make good TV. Because activists have been unable to tell their story with vivid images about immediate actions, it's just human nature to avoid the issue. Why give up something we enjoy now to make an infintesimal change in something that is going to happen far in the future?

Lady Bird Johnson understood this when she invested her efforts into a campaign against litter and pollution. The problem was easy to see. The messaging was emotional and immediate. You could see how your contribution (or efforts) mattered.

Because you don't see your coal being burned (it accounts for more than 50% of US electricity) and because the stuff coming out of your car is invisible, and because you don't live near a glacier, it's all invisible.

Doesn't matter what you market. Human beings want:
totems and icons
meters (put a real-time mpg or co2 meter in every car and watch what happens)

95% of the new ideas that don't spread--even though their founders and fans believe they should--fail because of the list above.


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Listed below are links to weblogs that reference The problem with "global warming":

» Seth on Global Warming and a shameless plug from Musings of an eco-entrepreneur
Seth writes about global warming today. He makes some great points: 1. the name. Global is good. Warm is good. Even greenhouses are good places. How can global warming be bad? Im not being facetious. If the problem were called... [Read More]

» Another Much-Needed Development: Fact-Check Button from The Vision Thing
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» But Just Think of Great Tans We'll All Have! from LandingTheDeal
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» Selling Hot Air from Sea Change Strategies Blog
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» Symbols Drive Ideas from Sort's Feed
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» Marketing Global Warming from Directory of Lost Causes
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» Renaming Climate Change from Custard Melt
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» Global warming doesnt sound so bad from Ben Rowe's Blog
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» Rebranding Global Warming from {}
Seth Godin makes a great point about the words we choose when we are advocating (or marketing arent they the same?). Seth outlines some of the problems inherent in the way that the global warming debate has been framed, starting with the... [Read More]

» We're all going to die. from kevin rothermel
Global warming is upon us, whether anyone admits it or not. Are you scared? No. No one really is. Seth Godin, who is much smarter than I am, dissects the issue from a marketing standpoint...and I think that he has [Read More]

» We're all going to die ... eventually from kevin rothermel
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» The power of words from Reality Checkpoints
Sure, weve read the articles, but emotionally our reaction is how can global warming be bad? The word global is certainly innocent enough and warming is typically a good thing (hot chocolate, cookies, h... [Read More]

» Its not global warming, its atmosphere cancer. from Burning Flame: A blog about noteworthy causes and issues.
Seth Godin, one of the great marketing minds of our time, recently posted his thoughts on how to push the issue of global warming beyond the scientific community, helping more people realize the true danger behind the threat: The muted reaction to our ... [Read More]

» ネーミング/ Naming from communication 101
Intresting point of view. How about "Imminent threat of unimaginable flooding"?? Seth Godinが地球温暖化"Global Warming"が深刻に取上げられない理由として、 名前が悪いと指摘。 warmingやgreenhouseでは、暖かくなっていいのではないかとさえ感じると。 日本語は英語から訳しているのだから、やはり"温暖”といいイメージである。 さらに、“化"というくせものもくっついている... [Read More]

» Selling Global Warming from Magnet Strategy
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» Seth Godin: "Global Warming" is Badly Marketed from Treehugger
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» Global Warming Nice from Simply Audio Blog
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» Global Warming Is Warm and Fuzzy from ben's blog
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» Seth Godin on Global Warming from Emrysamity
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» Marketing The End Of the World from demonstrative
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» Climate Cancer from Sea Change Strategies Blog
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» Reporters and Parrots from SEO
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» Pollution Cancer! from The Messaging Times
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» this can backfire as well from Waldsterben
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» How to Market Global Warming from WorldChanging: Another World Is Here
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» Name your issues wisely from Donor Power Blog
In an eye-opening post, Seth Godin looks at The problem with "global warming". He asks why global warming, "what might be the greatest threat ever to the future of mankind," gets so little attention or action. His answer? The problem's [Read More]

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» Whats Up With the Weather? from Curious Cat Science and Engineering Blog
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aneb jaký má vztah globální oteplování k marketingu? Žádný. A to je chyba, dozvíte se v článku Setha Godina The problem with "global warming" Proč globální oteplování znepokojuje jen pár lidí? Protože většina lidí nereaguje ze dvou důvodů: Prvním [Read More]

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» Marketing Global Warming from Vincenze's Pit
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