12 – Climate Communications (Part II)

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After this lesson, we’ll have the tools to go out into our fields and communities and educate others about the climate crisis.

Public Opinion

Six Americas

Interactive National and Local Survey Responses

These maps show variations in the climate and clean energy views of Democrats (left map) and Republicans (right map) in the U.S. as a whole (national level) and for all 50 states and 435 congressional districts...” 

July 1, 2020 • Yale e360 

An Update to the “Six Americas”

“For the first time, the Alarmed are now the largest of Global Warming’s Six Americas…” 

January 16, 2020 • Yale e360 

Global Views on Climate Change

Here are five facts about how people globally see climate change, drawn from a 2018 Pew Research Center survey on how people evaluate eight potential threats, as well as other polls conducted by the Center…” 

April 18, 2019 • Pew Research Center 

Strategic Climate Framings & Narratives

Key Terminology: What’s in a Frame?

“A frame is a guide. It directs people where to look, but more importantly, helps them interpret what they see. Every message—whether written, spoken, illustrated, or signed—is presented through a frame of some kind. Simply put, every communication is framed…”

July 16, 2020 • Frameworks Institute 

Values and Explanatory Metaphors

“In order to help Americans appreciate what is happening to the ocean as a result of climate change and how this might be addressed by actions we take together, the issue will have to be reframed to: induce more systems thinking, connect humans to the environments and chain of life that affect us all, and foreground causes and solutions, not merely impacts…”

Read p. 7-12

September 2015 • Frameworks Institute 

From Technocratic Control to Emancipatory Care?

The first three in this quartet of blogposts explored whether prevailing framings of ‘climate change’ are – both in name and action – recipes for failure...” 

July 16, 2020 • STEPS Centre 

Let’s Talk Climate: Messages to Motivate Americans

“Throughout the report, we will refer to the respondents as part of the base, opposition, and persuadable…” 

Read p.6 and 8-17, and pick a chapter on thematic messages by interest or affiliation. For international (especially non-OECD audiences), see optional CDKN resource.

2015 • ecoAmerica 

Towards Unifying Strategic Narratives

“There are a large number of complex, connected reasons for the action gap on climate change...” 

Read p.7-15

April 2016 • Imperial College London 

Using a Tested Metaphor: Before and After

Planetary Boundaries Narrative Framework

“Humanity is currently living far beyond the planet’s means, consuming the Earth’s renewable resources as if we had one and a half planets to draw upon…” 

Read p.6-15, 19-21

February 2012 • Oxfam 

Communication Approaches & Strategies

Climate Communications After Disasters

Experience shows extreme weather is a poor catalyst for changing minds about climate change, the conversation needs to begin before times of distress…” 

September 14, 2017 • Climate Home News

Principles of Climate Change Communication in Brief (P2)

One of the most important things climate communicators need to understand is that climate communication is not a one-size-fits-all practice...”

Read p. 78-81

December 2014 • ecoAmerica

Climate Humor

Climate change is not inherently funny. Typically, the messengers are serious scientists describing how rising greenhouse gas emissions are harming the planet on land and at sea, or assessing what role it played in the latest wildfire or hurricane...”

September 30, 2019 • The Conversation

Climate Communication Through Art

“Peril and Promise: The Challenge of Climate Change is a public media initiative from WNET in New York reporting on the human impact of climate change, designed to provide context, scientifically sound information, and fact-based journalism to audiences across every platform of public media...”

Pick one video

Accessed September 2020 • PBS

Climate Communications 101: Trusted Messenger

An entire climate communications strategy flows from this one simple principle: People believe people whom they trust, and they’re more likely to act based on the recommendation of that influential other person...”

April 16, 2019 • Boston University Institute for Sustainable Energy

Principles of Climate Change Communication in Brief (P1)

Mental models represent a person’s thought process for how something works...”

Read p. 40-43

October 2009 • University of Amsterdam

Why Things Catch On

“In Wharton marketing professor Jonah Berger‘s new book, Contagious: Why Things Catch On, he identifies six principles that cause people to talk about and share an idea or product…” 

March 13, 2013 • Wharton – University of Pennsylvania

Lessons from “Cli-fi”

Rising seas, unprecedented storms and dystopian landscapes are fodder for powerful stories. Beyond entertainment or distraction, could the emerging genre of climate fiction (Cli-Fi) actually help us avoid the worst impacts of climate change…” 

March 26, 2019 • Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment

Communicating Climate During COVID

Building on this blog, we’ve released a practical, evidence-based guide on how to communicate about climate change during the ongoing Covid-19 crisis…” 

April 14, 2020 • Climate Outreach

Want to join in on our next discussion?

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Optional Resources

Six Americas Report

“One of the first rules of effective communication is to ‘know thy audience.’ Climate change public communication and engagement efforts must start with the fundamental recognition that people are different and have different psychological, cultural, and political reasons for acting – or not act- ing – to reduce greenhouse gas emissions…” 

2009 • Yale e360

Communicating climate change: A practitioner’s guide Insights from Africa, Asia and Latin America

“This guide shares tips for communicating climate change e ectively. It is intended for communications practitioners and other champions of climate action working in developing countries…” 

2019 • Climate & Development Knowledge Network

TEDx: Collective Intelligence

Next Steps for Civic Engagement

“No one ever ran for city council, county commissioner, or mayor to solve climate change, but its challenges are now present in our communities — along with opportunities to solve them…” 

2018 • ecoAmerica

Let’s Talk Health and Climate: Communication Guidance for Health Professionals

“Now is the time for health professionals to elevate our climate leadership throughout our organizations, communities, and nation. Health can be a game-changing driver for climate solutions…” 

2016 • ecoAmerica

TED: 10 Ways to Have a Better Conversation

Climate Humor

Creative framing and storytelling of issues surrounding climate change through video, theatre, dance, and writing can connect a wider audience to the deep and pressing need to address climate change…” 

2019 • Inside the Greenhouse & CIRES

Communicating Climate During Covid Full Report

The world has changed and climate advocates are having to change with it, adapting plans and campaigns to a profoundly new external environment. Timing and sensitivity are paramount in communicating climate change during Covid-19 – otherwise the climate sector risks undermining climate action for the long term…” 

May 20, 2020 • Climate Outreach

Five Years After: Pope Francis Sounds Alarm

The encyclical ‘Laudato Si’ motivated many people to take action on global warming, but governments, the pope said, have lagged far behind…” 

August 7, 2020 • InsideClimate News