This website use cookies and similar technologies to improve the site and to provide customised content and advertising. By using this site, you agree to this use. To learn more, including how to change your cookie settings, please view our Cookie Policy
Pocketmags Digital Magazines
AU
Pocketmags Digital Magazines
   You are currently viewing the Australia version of the site.
Would you like to switch to your local site?
Digital Subscriptions > Skeptical Inquirer > March April 2016 > Shifting the Conversation about Climate Change

Shifting the Conversation about Climate Change

Strategies to Build Public Demand for Action

Matthew Nisbet is associate professor of communication at Northeastern University and a Committee for Skeptical Inquiry scientific consultant. From 1997 to 1999, he was public relations director for CSI.

Late last year at the United Nations climate change summit in Paris, world leaders reached a historic accord committing their countries to lowering greenhouse gas emissions over the next two decades and beyond.

The combined commitments by countries fall short of what many scientists say is needed to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, but the Paris accord marks an essential first step. World leaders pledged to revisit their commitments every five years with the goal of ratcheting up efforts to rapidly reduce emissions.

Yet over the next decade, as the United States joins with other countries in a quest to decarbonize the world economy, it will be essential to also ratchet up U.S. public opinion.

The challenge is to move the majority of Americans who remain ambivalent about the issue toward greater support for government action.

Recent studies, including several that I have conducted, suggest a portfolio of related communication strategies that can help shift the conversation about climate change, building public demand for solutions.

Talking Up Consensus

As simple as it might sound, perceptions of scientific consensus on climate change serve as a key “gateway belief,” influencing other beliefs about the issue, which in turn shape support for policy action, report Sander van der Linden and colleagues (2015) in a recently published study.

READ MORE
Purchase options below
Find the complete article and many more in this issue of Skeptical Inquirer - March April 2016
If you own the issue, Login to read the full article now.
Single Issue - March April 2016
$4.49
Or 449 points
Annual Digital Subscription
Only $ 4.33 per issue
SAVE
4%
$25.99
Or 2599 points

View Issues

About Skeptical Inquirer

Biological Race and the Problem of Human Diversity Skepticism and the Nature of the Mind The Mote in Thy Brother’s Eye Searching for the Yowie, the Down Under Bigfoot ...and much more.