Right Here, Right Now: A Communications Guide to Climate Change Impacts, Climate Nexus (Feb. 7, 2013). This report provides tools and strategies for communicating to the public the link between climate change and current disasters and impacts. The report describes communication guidelines including changing the focus from the future to climate impacts happening here and now and talking about climate disruption rather than climate change or global warming. The report also describes the different types of climate impacts, or “signatures of climate change,” and provides example language for highlighting these impacts.
Extreme Weather and Climate Change in the American Mind, Yale Project on Climate Change Communication (Oct. 9, 2012). The Yale Project on Climate Change Communication, in conjunction with George Mason University, has issued a report that on a survey that suggests more people are making a connection between extreme weather events and climate changes. The report says that nearly three-quarters of Americans surveyed say “global warming is affecting weather in the United States” and 61 percent say that weather has been getting worse in recent years. The survey found significant changes in public opinion over a survey conducted in March 2012.
American Climate Attitudes: An Analysis of Public Opinion Trends and Recommendations for Advancing Public Engagement on Global Warming, 2011, by Cara Pike and Meredith Herr of the Resource Innovation Group, 2011. Analyzes public opinion trends on global warming. Provides communication and engagement recommendations for climate practitioners based on polling data, research and the authors' experience as climate and environmental communicators.
Improving Communication of Uncertainty in the Reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, David Budescu et al. (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), in Association for Psychological Science, 2009. Reports on an experiment in which subjects read sentences from the 2007 IPCC report of the Intergorvernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and assigned numerical values to the probability terms. Finds that the respondents' judgments deviated significantly from the IPCC guidelines, even when the respondents had access to these guidelines. These results suggest that the method used by the IPCC is likely to convey levels of imprecision that are too high. Proposes an alternative form of communicating uncertainty, illustrates its effectiveness, and suggests several additional ways to improve the communication of uncertainty.
The Psychology of Climate Change Communication: A Guide for Scientists, Journalists, Educators, Political Aides, and the Interested Public, Center for Research on Environmental Decisions, Columbia University, 2009. Provides advice on communicating about climate change, focusing on 8 recommendations: (1) know your audience; (2) get your audience’s attention; (3) translate scientific data into concrete experience; (4) beware the overuse of emotional appeals; (5) address scientific and climate uncertainties; (6) tap into social identities; (7) encourage group participation; (8) make behavior change easier.
The Association of Knowledge with Concern About Global Warming: Trusted Information Sources Shape Public Thinking, by Ariel Malka, Jon A. Krosnick, and Gary Langer, in Risk Analysis, Vol. 29, No. 5. 2009. Analyzes whether media attention on climate change has led the American public to become more concerned about global warming. Finds that people who trust scientists have become more concerned based on greater information, while greater knowledge and concern was not associated with increased information among those skeptical of scientists and Republicans.
The Second National Risk and Culture Study: Making Sense of - and Making Progress In - The American Culture War of Fact, Dan Kahan (Yale) et al., 10/3/2007. Considers climate change and other issues in the contest of “cultural cognition,” which is the disposition to conform one’s beliefs about societal risks to one’s preferences for how society should be organized. Based on surveys and experiments involving some 5,000 Americans. Presents empirical evidence of the effect of this dynamic in generating conflict about global warming and other issues. Presents evidence of risk communication strategies that counteract cultural cognition. Because nuclear power affirms rather than threatens the identify of persons who hold individualist values, for example, proposing it as a solution to global warming makes persons who hold such values more willing to consider evidence that climate change is a serious risk. Because people tend to impute credibility to people who share their values, persons who hold hierarchical and egalitarian values are less likely to polarize when they observe people who hold their values advocating unexpected positions.