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Making Climate Hot: Communication Strategies for Climate Change PowerPoint Presentation
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Making Climate Hot: Communication Strategies for Climate Change

Making Climate Hot: Communication Strategies for Climate Change

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Making Climate Hot: Communication Strategies for Climate Change

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  1. Making Climate Hot: Communication Strategies for Climate Change Susanne Moser, Ph.D. National Center for Atmospheric Research Boulder, CO Climate Change Forum | San Diego Natural History Museum | November 16, 2004

  2. Let’s talk about climate change! “Communities are groups of people communicating…” Bill McDonough

  3. Does anyone care? • ~90% of American public is aware of “global warming” • For ~30% it is personally serious, urgent, worth worrying about • Still confusion about causes of global warming • Global warming seen as inevitable and unfixable • Related to irreversible deterioration of moral values • Few know about solutions; most are believed to be ineffective or irrelevant • We know little about what people think of adaptation “The typical global warming news story overwhelms and immobilizes people.” (Frameworks Institute 2003)

  4. Why do we “not care”? • Creeping nature of climate change • Complexity and uncertainty • System lags and lack of immediacy • Human perception limits and priorities • Communication failures • Media channels and practices • Failure to explain causes, solutions • Bad choice of frames, wrong mental models • Active efforts to distort science => polarized debate

  5. So where are we now? • Climate change is viewed as • uninteresting and irrelevant • uncertain, controversial, far off in the future • overwhelming • unsolvable (at least personally) • not urgent like terrorism, economy, health care, or education

  6. How can we make climate change more salient? • Make the problem more scary? • Make us feel more guilty?

  7. 400 There are better alternatives! • Abide by basic communication rules • Address the emotional and temporal dimensions of “urgency” • Increase the persuasiveness of the message • Use trusted messengers, broaden the circle • Use opportunities well • Tap into individual and cultural strengths and values • Unite and conquer

  8. It will take a long breath • Communication legacies of the past • Ups and downs of issue cycles • Conundrum: when governments take charge, public concern declines

  9. Strategies for the long haul • Connect climate change to issues for which we feel abiding concern and personal responsibility • Facilitate internalizing motivation to act green • Measuring success as pats on our collective backs • Define a vision of a “better future”

  10. Which future? “The future may well be decided by the images of the future with the greatest power to capture our imaginations and draw us to them, becoming self-fulfilling prophecies.” adapted from: Historian Frederik Polak (1973)