We should all be worried about the gaping psychological chasm separating humanity from nature. Indeed a strong argument can be made that bridging this divide deserves to be ranked amongst the most urgent 21st Century priorities. Yet so far the human-nature divide hasn’t even made it to our cultural to-do list.

For the past several decades, numerous scientists and environmentalists have been telling us that we must change our ways and strike a balance with nature, or face catastrophic consequences. I myself have often participated in this echo chamber, doling out dire statistics in hopes of engaging people in action. The unspoken assumption has been that cold, hard facts are all that’s needed for people (including business people and elected officials) to “get it” and alter their unsustainable ways. To date, however, virtually all the key indicators—from greenhouse gas emissions to habitat and species losses—are still heading in the wrong direction. The blade of the “hockey stick” continues to lengthen.

The problem is, humans aren’t rational creatures. At least, not when it comes to shifting their behaviors. As marketing executives have long understood, humans are far more susceptible to emotional messages, especially when conveyed through imagery. Want to escalate sales of some new car model? Beautiful people driving through pristine natural settings are far more powerful motivators than statistics on horsepower and fuel efficiency.
But what emotion is needed to foster a sustainable shift in human behavior? In a word, love.

http://scottsampson.blogspot.com/2013/01/the-human-nature-divide.html

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