Reading a few articles related to the climate crisis and how to deal with it, I was reminded of the power of the audience.
One was an article on the environmental impact of crypto mining centers. I appreciated that there is a continuous stream of information describing how much the carbon footprint of the crypto and bitcoin industry has grown. However, reading the article also left me with a sense of discomfort and helplessness. It focused on the problem that someone must realize and on all the work that must be done by these people. Some initiatives were named, but the focus remained on the idea that it’s not enough.
The next article I was reading had been written by Finland’s prime minister Sanna Marin. She shared why innovation will not be sufficient and went on to describe action-oriented ideas. Among these was one that seems natural, that is that governments take a leading role. But she also described the path she is perceiving as one to go by Finland as well as other governments. Writing as she does, she also welcomed being accountable to her word and work in Finland.
Both articles share interesting ideas and contain useful information. However, the first article is focused on an audience that seeks to be frightened by the problems surrounding us and wants others to act on them. The other article is reaching out to an audience that seeks to hear about ideas that are actionable and solution-oriented.
The first audience is the one that needs to be aroused by stirring up emotions. It is also the one that may lead to bottom-up movements aiming at pushing others to comply with their requests.
The second audience follows a different strategy. It addresses leaders and thought leaders who want to act on the task whenever it resonates.
While both may want to achieve the same goal, they assume a different locus of motivation. The first audience builds on highlighting problems and having fear as the most impacting motivator. It is an external motivation, whereas the second audience is self-motivated.
The difference between both lies in their ability to see how they can achieve their vision.
I’m concerned by those who mainly see their power in removing the problem as it invites to split society. I’m reassured that others see their power in addressing a solution that serves society.