Breath of Clarity

Endangered Species and Wildlife- The End is Near

The popular media’s common “gloom and doom” message is ineffective in changing how people behave to promote conservation. Perhaps, people would be more motivated to promote conservation by connecting with positive characteristics of animals such as their cute and cuddly attributes or their economic value. One strength of the video is that it highlighted uniquely adaptable, interesting types of species. Still, though, in the case of a major problem that seems too overwhelming to handle, many people respond by disengaging with it and make excuses to block it out of their lives. In her article, Catriona McKinnon (2014) analyzes two manifestations of despair about climate change related to the inefficacy of personal emissions reductions and the inability to make a difference to climate change through personal emissions reductions. She argued that judgements grounding each form of despair are unsound (McKinnon 2014). From there, she explored the fundamental value of hope in effective agency to tackle climate change (McKinnon 2014). Hope can increase the probability that a person’s agency achieves its purpose, and so can galvanise the person’s will as it aims at this purpose (McKinnon 2014).


McKinnon, Catriona. 2014. “Climate Change: Against Despair.” Ethics and the Environment. 19(1): 31-48. Accessed March 10, 2021.

Comment by Maggie Smith:

I think there is a lot of psychology surrounding this topic. While humans tend to remember negative things, unfortunately, negativity is not the best persuasion. Showing negative images accompanied with negative speech does not encourage better behavior. Showing positive images, action, idea is a much better way to encourage conservation efforts.