As Long as Climate Change Does Not Touch the Rich, Nothing Will Change, Says Andrew J. Hoffman

Oct 12, 2017 2:45 PM ET
Andrew J. Hoffman is an American Professor of Sustainable Business at the University of Michigan. Photo credit: Veronika Gregušová /

Originally posted on

Should we focus on persuading the deniers...?
Without any thoughts I will tell you that on the table. Do not waste time with people who have already formed their opinion and are unwilling to withdraw from their position. We should concentrate on those people who are not sure, but willing to listen to your views.

But how should climate change be communicated?
People have to understand that the effects of global warming will affect their lives and hit their wallets. When a big drought strikes or a hurricane passes through the region, suddenly they will understand the impact. However, these changes must primarily affect influential people. It's sad, but when a hurricane is in New York, the whole world knows about it, but when India floods, the media does not care. Until climate change touches rich people, nothing will change.

What could still help solve the situation?
It is important to give people hope and show that there are solutions. At university I teach organizational behavior. One aspect of the change is to show where you are now and where you are heading for the future. Then most will follow you.

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