Even though it's very easy to show images of drowning polar bears, threat-based messaging activates the very values which undermine progress on climate change. By portraying humanity's vulnerability, advocacy groups are far more likely to grab their audience's attention.

But in doing so, they reinforce a set of values - "extrinsic values" which encourage self-interest and undermine values like empathy and generosity. Without these values, the climate movement may grab people's attention, but it will fail to motivate action.

Building a new narrative based on hope, inclusivity and opportunity might provide an antidote to the paralysis that threat-based messaging can induce.