This piece on Mobjectivist along with its associated comments got me thinking about how to approach people concerning issues as complex and troubling as peak oil and global warming. The main aim at the beginning is to get people to accept the possibility that oil production might peak or that global warming is occurring and that both these could have very serious consequences.
But when the competing idea is that everything will turn out fine for the indefinite future, it is hard to compete. If you are told that you can go on living the way you do now only more so, it's much more appealing than having to change everything. Still, there are many people who feel unease. They believe something is wrong. They want to find out what it is, and they want to do something about it.
I have worked in political campaigns, and informing people about critical environmental issues resembles nothing so much as a campaign. That work has taught me a very simple but important lesson in strategy. There are three groups in any campaign: 1) those who are already going to vote for you, 2) those who will never vote for you, and 3) those who can be persuaded to vote for you. Group 1 needs to be launched with the necessary materials and talking points toward Group 3. Group 2 needs to be assiduously ignored.
In other words, don't waste a moment on the spoilers and cranks in the opposition. There are plenty of people out there who can be persuaded. Focus on them.
(Comments are open to all. See the list of environmental blogs on my sidebar.)