Back from a local training meeting for Obama volunteers. The room was overflowing with people, all fired up to go out and mobilize voters. This was my first time attending a political meeting, and the first time for many of the people there as well.
I was thinking about the article I wrote regarding the Psychological Challenges and Opportunities of Global Warming, and the difficulty of getting people from being ‘concerned and unmoved‘ to being ‘concerned and moved‘. What is different this time with Obama, that moved me into action? Maybe there is something to be learned here, that can be applied to behavioral environmental srategies.
What made me drive to the local Obama headquarters this morning was my enthusiasm for the man himself. I feel a personal connection with him, his values, and his journey. I respond to his charisma, and his qualities as an extraordinary leader, and uniter of all people. This morning I felt the power of the crowd, of no longer being just one person, but part of something greater, a chance to participate in history.
And I have to agree with Michael Oppenheimer again, that ‘strong leaders can at least create the conditions where attention is paid to a key issue like global warming‘. What I may not be able to accomplish on my own, I may do as a follower of a charismatic leader such as Obama, and as a member of the (environmental) community that he is creating.
This, by the way, does not mean, that I am to wait for Obama to get elected to do my personal share of the fight against global warming.