Are you thinking what they're thinking?

24 May 2005
Yesterday in this debate, Jon Miller had three key messages for the environmental movement (see here).

Today, Chris Rose cautions on the need to understand values and how they affect behaviour:

Climate is a 'mature' issue, widely understood in similar ways across the main psychological groups of society, with little difference between the 'pioneers' who set trends and explore new issues, and the bulk of the rest of the population. Achieving change will not be brought about mainly by building awareness but by providing ways for people to change behaviour .

Among the organisations doing worthy things to try and build that awareness is Britain's Energy Saving Trust. Recently, they tried turning the issue on its head. Helen Beardsley of the EST tells Paul Wise (in the May/June 05 edition of Your Environment, a publication from the UK Environment Agency):

"We wanted to really tackle the 'so what' mentality head on...We did plenty or market research and decided that some reverse psychology might put our point better than the sort of approach we've used in the past" .

The EST allocated their scare resources to a thirty second TV spot with the following text, presented by three apathetic and emphatically not actorly householders:

Aren't you tired of everyone banging on about climate change? I don't know what all the fuss is about. I mean, the polar ice caps aren't exactly going to melt over night just because I leave my TV on standby, fill my kettle to the top or turn my heating up. What a load of twaddle! So I haven't insulated my house properly, big deal, who cares if I forget to turn one little light off...I mean how much difference can one person really make?


Stop the secrecy: Publish the NHS COVID data deals

To: Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care

We’re calling on you to immediately release details of the secret NHS data deals struck with private companies, to deliver the NHS COVID-19 datastore.

We, the public, deserve to know exactly how our personal information has been traded in this ‘unprecedented’ deal with US tech giants like Google, and firms linked to Donald Trump (Palantir) and Vote Leave (Faculty AI).

The COVID-19 datastore will hold private, personal information about every single one of us who relies on the NHS. We don’t want our personal data falling into the wrong hands.

And we don’t want private companies – many with poor reputations for protecting privacy – using it for their own commercial purposes, or to undermine the NHS.

The datastore could be an important tool in tackling the pandemic. But for it to be a success, the public has to be able to trust it.

Today, we urgently call on you to publish all the data-sharing agreements, data-impact assessments, and details of how the private companies stand to profit from their involvement.

The NHS is a precious public institution. Any involvement from private companies should be open to public scrutiny and debate. We need more transparency during this pandemic – not less.

By adding my name to this campaign, I authorise openDemocracy and Foxglove to keep me updated about their important work.

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