The term, ‘climate change’, refers to a state change of the climate which could be measured and identified using statistical tests (e.g., the mean or the variability of the climate’s properties) (Solomon et al., 2007, p.667). Climate change usually lasts decades or even longer and it is frequently viewed as a looming problem (Solomon et al., 2007, p.667). Climate change is likely to cause extensive disruptions in many ecological communities which in turn influence the population and reproduction of many species (McCARTY, 2001). Evidence is also accumulating that climate change has inflicted an enormous economic loss on human societies (Ciscar et al., 2011). Although many natural forcing mechanisms are causes of climate change (e.g. solar output or volcanism), human activities is a factor that should not be neglected. Thus, it is urgent for all human beings to tackle the issue.
Based on the Social-Ecology Model, environmental campaigns could be designed and executed at individual and public policy levels. At the individual level, environmental education is important. According to the Information deficit model, if people know more information about science, they will behave differently (Dickson, 2005). A meta-analysis of effectiveness of E-intervention on alcohol consumption in university students found that the online freshman orientation courses have a significant impact on reducing drinking behaviors (Prosser et al., 2018).
Thus, implementing required environmental education courses in organizations such as universities might be helpful in enhancing the college population’s awareness of protecting the environment, and in turn, increase pro-environment behaviors. Using social media is another strategy of conducting environmental education which allows to reach out to a broader audience . Non-governmental organizations or non-profit organizations could post educational advertisements on social medias like Facebook or Twitter. The advertisements can present negative consequences of climate change using eye-catching photos to enhance populations’ awareness.
Despite the fact that individuals’ activities influence environmental problems, social marketing strategies should not solely target individuals because macro-social conditions play an important role in resulting and sustaining the climate problems (Maibach, 1993). Some macro-social contributions are direct such as untreated wastewater discharge, and some are indirect such as incentives to consume products that harm the environment (Maibach, 1993). To address environmental issues brought by macro-social conditions, communications to government officials are necessary. Governmental involvement is crucial in alleviating the issue because environmental laws, regulations and policies all have profound influence on how organizations and populations behave. Governments can use economic incentives to encourage pro-environmental behaviors. For individuals, governments could provides cheaper public transportation fares to encourage more people to choose low-carbon travel and transport. For organizations, governments could reward factories with tax reduction or subsidy incentives if they treat wastes properly.
Dealing with the climate change problem needs to combine the strengths and efforts of all levels of society. It is not a certain level of change that can effectively solve this problem which has been going on for a long time. Therefore, ideal interventions need to adopt various social marketing strategies according to different audiences.