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What’s the story?

Who hasn't been moved by a good story, right? A piece in Nature Climate Change in 2015 makes the case that the most effective way to mobilise public action on climate change would be to formulate a 'strategic narrative'. A kind of story of stories that would from the underlying motivational guide for individual actions in response to the planet's current crisis. It would be made up of aligned sub-stories with relevant take-aways for all manner of people, leading to a national, or even a global unification of effort under the guiding narrative, similar to the way America was unified (?) under the story of getting to the moon in the 1960s - the authors quoting a cleaner at NASA in 1962 who reportedly responded to President Kennedy's question about what he was doing with a quick 'I'm helping put a man on the moon'.

I'm not convinced. History has shown on numerous occasions how legitimate divisions and objections can be masked or disappeared under the imperatives of grand narratives, the 'art of rhetoric' being effectively co-opted to nefarious ends. In any case, the strategic narrative approach sounds like an impossibility in today's era of diversity, specialisation, and polarisation, and maybe that's a good thing.

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