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“Preaching to the choir” is often considered fruitless, although a choir is at least a receptive audience for a preacher’s message.

But if the message is that the church needs more money, some choir members might decline to chip in—after all, aren’t they already doing their part by singing?
In a way, that’s the issue Stanford’s Seth Werfel explored through surveys sent to more than 14,000 people in Japan.
Instead of church business, the surveys asked about support for raising Japan’s carbon tax to accelerate the transition to non-carbon-emitting energy sources.

After a tsunami caused a disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in 2011, a national energy-saving campaign was launched to help avoid summer blackouts. You might assume that people reminded of how they pitched in to reduce their electricity use would also be the most amenable to stronger government intervention on energy, but that’s not how this choir felt.
Surveying the choir
The first survey was sent to about 12,000 people, who were split into three groups.

The first read a short description of the energy-saving campaign and then were presented with a list of personal actions to check off what they had done.

The second group read the description but didn’t get the checklist, and a third group saw nothing about the energy-saving campaign (as a baseline for comparison).
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