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|under 10 minutes
Global Warming's Six Americas
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
(6 minutes, 2011)
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.
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)
||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
How to Identify People Open to Evidence about Climate Change
Karin Kirk, Yale Climate Connections, November 2018
Karin Kirk is well into an engaging, useful series of pieces for Yale Climate
Connections (YCC). All of them are worth reading: just click on her name in
this starting-point link. Well-researched and down-to-earth, these short
essays are also often entertaining. YCC's "advice columnist," Sarah Peach,
also offers practical ideas in such pieces as
"How Do I Break Bad News about Climate
Change Your Mind. The Climate Will Follow
Anna Gooding-Call, The Trouble, November 2018
A very good up-to-date discussion of the main current ideas about how best to
communicate and motivate on climate change, with a very useful focus on areas
where specialists disagree. For instance, is an appeal to fear mostly
paralyzing, or is it sometimes an effective spur to action?
Doom and Gloom: The Role of the Media in Public Disengagement on Climate Change
Elizabeth Arnold, May 2018
A very interesting (and well-researched) look at how media focuses on bad news
about climate change at the expense of paying attention to potential and
ongoing solutions‒with the effect of paralyzing readers. Good extended
example of how stories about coastal Alaskan villages are handled and what is
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
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
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
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
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,
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
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
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.
Communicating Climate Change: A Guide for Educators
Anne K. Armstrong, Marianne E. Krasny, and Jonathon P. Schuldt, Cornell University Press, 2018
This accessible, free-to-download book offers practical help, with examples
both imagined and real, in effective ways to incorporate insights from
communication studies and psychology into climate education.
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
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.