Climate change and COVID-19 are the two most significant crises faced by the modern world – and widespread behavior change is essential to cope with both. This means that official messaging by the government and other authorities is critical. To succeed, leaders need to communicate the severe threat effectively and elicit high levels of public compliance, without causing undue panic. But the extent to which people comply depends on their psychological filters when receiving the messages – as the coronavirus pandemic has shown. With COVID-19, the early messaging attempted to circumscribe the nature of the threat. In March, the WHO…
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