You might think I’m kidding, if you’ve seen the coverage that the good Doctor has been getting in the National Post and elsewhere. But I’m not.
You see, there’s been some of what the progressives like to call “evidence-based research,” done up and reported here. Now, granted, it’ll be a bit jargony, so Slate has done a layman’s summary here. I’m going to quote a bit from the Slate article:
… 140 Americans … read an article about climate change and “the need for individuals to adopt sustainable lifestyles.”
For one-third of the participants, the writer was described as a stereotypical environmentalist (his “profile” stated, “I hold rallies outside chemical research labs”). Another third were told he was an atypical, less-abrasive environmentalist (“I’m involved in organizing social events … to raise money for grassroots-level environmental organizations”). For the final third, his profile did not mention environmental activism at all.
After reading the article, participants were asked whether it inspired them to do more recycling, or otherwise take more eco-friendly actions.
“Participants were less motivated to adopt pro-environmental behaviors when these behaviors were advocated by the ‘typical’ environmentalist, rather than by the ‘atypical’ environmentalist or the undefined target,” the researchers report.
Or, put another way: the more overtly an activist acts in trying to publicize The Cause, the more likely the target audience is to reject said Cause.
Now, take Dr. Suzuki. Famous science presenter and media personality, and man-made global warming advocate, this “mock trial” he’s taking part in is designed to publicize the need for a change in the public’s appetite for power in order to reduce. Except that, because of his celebrity, the publicity he’s attracting is actually more about the good Doctor than the cause he’s espousing. Which means the whole shebang’s a failure, because it’s not reaching the audience he wants to reach.
The nice thing about this bit of research is that it does have cross-partisan applications. It can be applied to gun lobby and gun control advocates, people on both sides of the abortion issue, animal experimenters versus PETA, and so on and so forth.
So, next time you come across someone excessively partisan, you might want to ask him or her: how much damage do you think you’re doing to your cause?