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Jennifer Scott: A Survey of COP16 Participants Reveals Deep Pessimism

12/08/2010 10:57 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

This is article 3 of 8 in the series about interviews with speakers at Cancun's "Forum on Communicating Climate Change." Click here to read the previous article. Cross posted on Hub Culture.

Ogilvy and Mather, one of the world's leading marketing firms, has taken a strong interest in sustainability over the past few years. They founded OgilvyEarth, a firm devoted to marketing sustainability and sustainable products. Here in Cancun, the company partnered with the Pew Center on Global Climate Change to survey COP16 attendees and determine their views.

The results were not uplifting. Over half (56%) of the attendees thought that climate change has already done irreversible damage. A large majority (76%) thought that the mass media was the best way to reach the public, but and even larger percentage (87%) blamed unskilled media and opinion leaders for the lack of public understanding of this issue. Less than a quarter (24%) said that journalists were a trusted source of information on the topic (I wanted to ask Andy how that made him feel). Also, most attendees said that the single best way to get people to act were stories of natural disaster and personal suffering--more on that last point in the next article in this series.

The findings were presented by Jennifer Scott, the Director of Global Strategy for Ogilvy and Mather:

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