Climate change and behaviour change : empowering youth action through narrative
This thesis is a review of the literature spanning multiple disciplines to provide an overview of climate change science in the global and New Zealand context, its implications, and a context for action amongst young New Zealanders. On the balance of scientific evidence, human activity is affecting the Earth's climate to the extent that it may have catastrophic consequences for development. Addressing the climate change problem requires unprecedented mitigation and adaptation, which many now argue is the defining challenge of our generation. By exploring social and behavioural change theory, and the use of narrative as a tool for empowering change, this thesis provides insights that could aid the transition towards low-carbon communities. Generally, solutions reside in a fundamental shift away from the consumption of fossil fuels towards clean renewable energy and more sustainable management of the Earth's resources. This thesis notes considerable barriers to social and behavioural change and that strategic use of narrative provides insight to help overcome them. At the grassroots community level, the use of narrative is emerging as an effective tool to empower individual and collective action towards resilient, low-carbon communities. When narrative is designed to communicate desirable behaviour through relevant, local personal stories to defined target audiences, it may be a powerful tool for change. This thesis concludes that with a deepened understanding of the problems and solutions surrounding climate change, paired with insights to empower behaviour change through narrative, communicators could aid the transition towards resilient low-carbon communities. If given the required urgency, it may still be possible to avoid some of the most catastrophic consequences associated with climate change.
Advisor: Fleming, Jean
Degree Name: Master of Science Communication
Degree Discipline: Science Communication
Publisher: University of Otago
Research Type: Thesis
DVD available with hardcopy of thesis On title frame of DVD: Carving the future : "Inspirational young New Zealanders leading change" : a film / by Guy Ryan & Nick Holmes. "www.carvingthefuture.com"--Title frame of DVD. "January 2010" Colour recording system for DVD: PAL.