“Most people who read articles about climate advances don’t have a framework” (Bill Gates on HBR IdeaCast)

There are two communication failures at work here.

The first is a failure to communicate the magnitude of benefits accurately. That’s regrettable but understandable; it’s not necessarily the job of the scientists or engineers to manage the communication of their ideas (although sometimes it is). That failure belongs to whoever published the findings.

The second failure is more serious, as resistance to systemic change. This is usually presented by politicians to excuse action now with the promise of technological revolution to come (technological optimism, as this study names it).

When we see big ideas, it’s right to get excited, but we must always challenge. Ask how realistic the proposals are, how much impact they are likely to have, and crucially when they will have that impact.

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