Weathercocks and signposts: the environment movement at a crossroads

Posted on 10 March 2008    
As our understanding of the scale of environmental challenges deepens, so we are also forced to contemplate the inadequacy of the current responses to these challenges. By and large, these responses retreat from engaging the values that underpin our decisions as citizens, voters and consumers: mainstream approaches to tackling environmental threats do not question the dominance of today's individualistic and materialistic values

Weathercocks and Signposts critically reassesses current approaches to motivating environmentally-friendly behaviour change. Current behaviour-change strategies are increasingly built upon analogy with product marketing campaigns. They often take as given the 'sovereignty' of consumer choice, and the perceived need to preserve current lifestyles intact. This report constructs a case for a radically different approach. It presents evidence that any adequate strategy for tackling environmental challenges will demand engagement with the values that underlie the decisions we make – and, indeed, with our sense of who we are.

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