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WATCH
AND
LISTEN
under 10 minutes
Global Warming's Six Americas
Anthony Leiserowitz
In this eloquent short video, the director of the Yale Forum on Climate Change & The Media explains the basic (and very important) results of this on-going public survey project tracking American attitudes about and knowledge of climate change.
(6 minutes, 2011)

longer
Evidence Squared
John Cook and Peter Jacobs
These podcasts (starting in 2017) focus on the science of climate change communication (including, as the project's subtitle says, "The Science of Why Science Fails to Persuade.") Interviews with a wide range of practitioners, covering many aspects of the topic.
(2017)

Climate Talk: Science and Solutions
Susan Joy Hassol, TEDxUMontana
A crystal-clear overview of fixes for ways science communication can interfere with the public understanding of climate change. Hassol has long been in the lead on this issue as a practitioner and trainer.
(16 minutes, 2015)

Chapman Conference on Climate Science Communications
Attended by some hundred climate scientists and communicators, including many leaders in their fields, this meeting was organized primarily by James Byrne of Lethbridge University with many partners and contributors. Most talks on this YouTube playlist are under 20 minutes long.
(lengths vary, June 2013)


READ
articles & essays
Communication about climate change has a dark side: all the false information around, a good part of which is spread intentionally by people who want to confuse the rest of us. For sources about misinformation, disinformation, and denial, please see here.

Finding Common Ground
Karin Kirk, Yale Climate Communications, 2018
This link will take you to a number of very good articles about experiments in talking about climate change across cultural divisions. Interesting, useful, and encouraging.

Communication: Start Here
Changing Climates @ CSU / 100 Views of Climate Change
An annotated list of excellent sources for getting started with the topic of climate change communication. Designed to print out as a single double-sided sheet.

Climate Change is Everybody's Business. So How Do You Talk to Everybody?
Changing Climates @ CSU / 100 Views of Climate Change
This concise tip sheet summarizes six key communication principles, a few particulars for the topic of climate change, and a brief guide to a few of the resources listed on this website. Designed to print out as a single double-sided sheet, with room for hole-punching. For another brief tip sheet about writing more accessible prose, see For Clearer, More Inviting Writing.

The Consensus Handbook
John Cook, Sander van der Linden, Edward Maibach, Stephan Lewandowsky, March, 2018
Everything you need to know about why it matters that people understand how thoroughly climate scientists really do agree that human-caused climate change is happening. The research behind the well-known 97% number; how the public responds to this number (as a gateway belief); how misinformation campaigns have tried to undermine it; and how best to counter that misinformation (inoculation with information about how misinformation is typically crafted); and why it matters: these important things are laid out clearly and concisely, with enough detail for specialists but in a way that is very readable for the rest of us.

Improving Public Engagement With Climate Change: Five "Best Practice" Insights from Psychological Science
Sander van der Linden, Edward Maibach, Anthony Leiserowitz, Perspectives on Psychological Science, November 2015
This peer-reviewed and well-documented academic article is nevertheless extremely readable and cuts to the core of the communication question.

Why Doesn't Anyone Know How to Talk About Global Warming?
Natasha Geiling, Smithsonian.com, May 2014
An excellent discussion of a very wide range of complications related to effective communication on this topic, along with ideas about solutions. Lots of good links to the key literature.

Breaking the Climate Fear Taboo: Why Feelings Matter for Our Climate Change Communications
Renee Lertzman, Sightline Daily, March 2014
Lertzman has focused her research on climate change communication and psychology, and this short, efficient blog post offers a set of four categories with which we think about engagement with the topic. One of them, the one having to do with feelings, we tend to neglect, to our loss. Here she offers five guidelines for allowing people to have their feelings without fear of judgment.

The Id and the Eco
Rosemary Randall, Aeon, December 2012
"Thinking about climate change makes people feel helpless and anxious‒but that's why we must talk about it openly": so psychotherapist Randall explains in this terrific article. Rich in insights about human emotions as they interfere with our ability to deal well with climate change, and some good ideas about what we might do to face and cope with these emotions.

The Psychology of Climate Change Communication
The Center for Research on Environmental Decisions (CRED), Columbia University, 2009
The best efficient guide available for sound advice about better ways to communicate about climate change, especially with the general public and decision makers from government and business. Culling research findings from psychology, anthropology, economics, history, environmental science and policy, and climate science, this text's principles and examples are clear, practical, and interesting. The principal sections are "Know Your Audience," "Get Your Audience's Attention," "Translate Scientific Data into Concrete Experience," "Beware the Overuse of Emotional Appeals," "Address Scientific and Climate Uncertainties," "Tap into Social Identities and Affiliations," "Encourage Group Participation," and "Make Behavior Change Easier." The report is well worth reading in its entirety, but there's also a useful summary, "The Principles of Climate Change Communication in Brief."

Global Warming's Six Americas
Prepared by the Yale Project on Climate Change and George Mason University's Center for Climate Change Communication, this important series of downloadable surveys analyses the American public's "climate change beliefs, attitudes, risk perceptions, motivations, values, policy preferences, behaviors, and underlying barriers to action." For a good article about the core results, see What Do Americans Think about Global Warming? Tony Leiserowitz can tell you. It's not what you might expect. (Neela Banerjee, Yale Alumni Magazine, Jan/Feb 2015) "The perception among many in the media, in politics, and so on‒that you can't talk about this because half the country is against you?‒it's false, it's wrong . . . It's only 15 percent. They're a really loud 15 percent, and they have convinced much of the country it's not safe to talk about it, but it's just not true."

websites
The FrameWorks Institute: Climate Change and the Ocean
This group focuses on better ways to frame, or contextualize, challenging topics, especially with regard to the oceans (and for aquariums). Their website links may be useful especially for practitioners in these subjects.

The Sightline Institute, Strategic Messaging
This site, focused on the Pacific Northwest, does a lot of work with communication strategies for climate change. Check their flashcard collection, for instance.

ClimateAccess.org
This website offers an excellent one-stop-shopping "resource hub" focusing on "essential research, news articles, and commentary on climate change communications, behavior change, and public opinion." (It includes other elements, too, but these are central.) Significant parts of the site are public; for others, you need to apply as part of an organization working in this field. Run by the Resource Innovation Group's Social Capital Project, the Rutgers Initiative on Climate and Society, and the Stonehouse Standing Circle, the website features two mottoes: "The network for those engaging the public in the transformation to low-carbon, resilient communities" and "SHARING WHAT WORKS."

CarbonVisuals
With the goal of helping us all "see the invisible," this group and site develop and offer still and animated "images of carbon emissions, air pollution, water use, waste and more." A useful resource for anyone who has trouble really grasping such things as what one day's carbon emissions might look like. for a guide to using these visuals, see here.


TEACH
classes
Covering Climate Change
Tom Yulsman, the Poynter Institute News University
This free, online, self-directed course offers to "non-expert reporters and citizen journalists a firm grounding in the science and policy underlying climate change." Estimated time to complete: 4 hours.

resources
George Mason University, Center for Climate Change Communication
This center uses "social science research methods‒experiments, surveys, in-depth interviews and other methods‒to find ways of effectively engaging the public and policy makers in the problem, and in considering and enacting solutions." In 2017, on the occasion of its 10th anniversary, the Center published a very useful, readable overview of their main findings about the challenges of and main discoveries about climate change communication: an excellent way to get acquainted with this body of work.

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