5 Insights That Make Climate Communication Easier

blog-connect-2.10.15The science on climate change is clear, the benefits of climate solutions are ever more apparent – so why is this subject still so hard to talk about? As this Huffington Post article explains, all too often climate communications are overwhelming, polarizing, and abstract. As a result, people tend to tune out. The article highlights some key insights from George Marshall’s book Don’t Even Think About It – Why Our Brains Are Wired To Ignore Climate Change. Here are some of the most salient points:
 
• People’s views and behavior are strongly shaped by social identity
• A compelling narrative is more effective than scientific data
• Audiences are more receptive to messages from someone they respect and trust
• Focusing on co-benefits goes a long way in building support for climate solutions
• The threat of climate change needs to be made local, personal, and immediate in order to compel people to act
 
Drawing on climate studies by Yale and George Mason University, Marshall emphasizes the role of social and psychological research in engaging people on climate. To see how ecoAmerica is using research to improve engagement, download our latest report, Connecting on Climate: A Guide to Effective Climate Change Communication (which is referenced in the article below).
 

Why Communicating About Climate Change Is so Difficult: It’s “The Elephant We’re All Inside of”

Jim Pierobon, contributor to the Huffington Post
 
How stakeholders communicate about climate change has long been framed by who’s doing the framing as much, or more so, than the information being communicated. So I am forever curious how various stakeholders – believers, skeptics and deniers alike – are talking about it and who, if anybody, is “moving the needle” in either direction.
 
One of the most salient and recent inputs to the climate communications conundrum is Don’t Even Think About It – Why Our Brains Are Wired To Ignore Climate Change, by George Marshall in Oxford, England.
 
Marshall’s work deserves to be spotlighted for how it illuminates why skeptics and deniers alike will not be moved to engage in thoughtful exchanges unless those communicating respect certain tenets of what academic and nonprofit research are finding.
 
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