According to a new study in Nature Climate Change, highlighting personal risk from climate change and the consequences of inaction offer the most motivating evidence for Americans to take action. Certainly, this also has to do with the public receiving compelling information on the topic. The Paris climate summit and Pope Francis were helpful in clarifying the role of carbon pollution for the public, and recent news that the past two years have been the hottest on record cannot hurt the cause (though it can hurt the climate!). Climate for Health encourages clear and direct communication on climate impacts within the health sector. To this end, ecoAmerica offers several resources for best climate communication practices including Connecting on Climate: A Guide to Effective Climate Communication and Let’s Talk Climate: Messages to Motivate Americans.
By Joe Romm I April 12, 2016
The best way to motivate people to support action to limit climate change is to … explain to them the dangers of not taking action, a new Nature Climate Change study finds. While that may not seem like a surprising result, it has only been recently that climate impacts and the immorality of inaction have been a key focus of top U.S. politicians.
This research is consistent with a November study on how to improve climate communications using “Five ‘Best Practice’ Insights From Psychological Science.” In that study, leading U.S. experts on public opinion on climate change explain that “policymakers should … emphasize climate change as a present, local, and personal risk [and] frame policy solutions in terms of what can be gained from immediate action.”
A third recent report, “The Francis Effect: How Pope Francis Changed the Conversation About Global Warming,” concluded that “Pope Francis changed the conversation about global warming.” In particular, public opinion research shows that “17 percent of Americans and 35 percent of Catholics say his position on global warming influenced their own views of the issue.”
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