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How do you get people to care about green? Hint: It’s not talking about the polar bears, rising sea levels or carbon emissions. According to Simran Sethi, it’s about meeting people where they are and reframing these issues within the context of issues they care about. So instead of “organics” being an environmental issue, reframe it as a public health issue so that “everyone can understand it,” she says.
Simran is right in the middle of co-authoring a book about the psychological barriers to environmental engagement and I was fortunate enough to pull her away from her computer to talk to me about this important subject. Weighing in on this topic in her book are public figures such as Robert Redford and Newt Gingrich along with a number of behavioral psychologists helping uncover why widespread information has not resulted in widespread engagement. If you think this topic is juicy, just wait until you hear Simran speak about it.
Simran Sethi is an award-winning journalist and associate professor at the University of Kansas School of Journalism and Mass Communications, where she currently teaches courses on sustainability and environmental communications and diversity in media. Simran is the contributing author of Ethical Markets: Growing the Green Economy, winner of the bronze 2008 Axiom Award for Best Business Ethics Book. She is also the founding host/writer of Sundance Channel’senvironmental programming The Green and the creator of the Sundance online series The Good Fight, highlighting global environmental justice efforts and grassroots activism.
Named one of the top ten eco-heroes of the planet by the UK’s Independent and lauded as the “environmental messenger” by Vanity Fair and “environmental woman of impact” by Daily Variety, Simran has contributed numerous segments to Nightly News with Brian Williams, CNBC, PBS, theOprah Winfrey Show, and the Today Show; and appeared on MSNBC, the Ellen DeGeneres Show, Martha Stewart Show and History Channel. She is committed to a redefinition of environmentalism that includes voices from the prairie, the inner city and the global community.
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