climate communication


Energy Secretary Rick Perry should affirm that the government is in the business of uncovering the truth, not covering it up. Photo: Wikimedia

8 Simple Words Energy Secretary Rick Perry Can Say Right Now to Reaffirm that Scientists Won’t Be Muzzled

, Deputy director, Center for Science & Democracy

Late Tuesday afternoon, Politico reported that some managers at the Department of Energy (DOE) orally instructed employees in the department’s Office of International Climate and Clean Energy not to use phrases such as “climate change” or “emissions reduction” in official communications. The department denied that any words or phrases had been banned. In the current political context, there are steps the administration should take to clear up the confusion that these allegations create. Read more >

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More Than Scientists, Mauna Loa, and Better Climate Communication

, Research Director, Center for Science and Democracy

At UCS when we are thinking about the best way to communicate new scientific results, my colleague Aaron Huertas often asks me, “How do the results make you feel?” As he wrote, the exercise can be helpful in bringing scientific findings back to human emotions and why the results might matter to others. A new campaign called More Than Scientists seeks to enact this effect on a broader scale and I was happy to take part in it. Read more >

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Book Review: How Culture Shapes the Climate Change Debate by Andrew Hoffman

, former science communication officer

A few years ago, my colleagues and I worked with Andrew Hoffman, the director of the Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise at the University of Michigan, to host a forum on increasing public understanding of climate change. The event sticks with me because the participants came from so many different backgrounds: environmental justice, Creation care, energy production, social science, media, climate science, and service in Congress.

Hoffman has condensed the myriad approaches to climate communication we discussed that day — and much more — into an indispensable guide. At a slim 100 pages, Hoffman’s book offers a fine distillation of the growing body of social science that explains our curious and conflicting approaches to climate issues. In addition to identifying the problematic ways we often approach climate change, he also suggests several potential ways forward that can restore the climate debate to what he calls a “more civilized plane.” Read more >

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