How People Communicate about Climate Change

Who says what about what and who can you believe?

My good friend Dale recently forwarded me a link to Bill Moyers Journal from January 4th 2013.  Moyers is a well known Journalist who has garnished a lot of respect over his years of service.  In this link he interviews Scientist Anthony Leiserowitz, director of the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication who talks about how Climate Change information is communicated.

I will attempt to paraphrase some major points that this 45 minute interview brought up.  The full link is at the bottom of this post.

Its Gonna Be Bad!

I hate it when I hear that.  Dr. Leiserowitz  basically feels we’re passing the warning signs without paying attention. This is not good.

Price Waterhouse Coopers a major accountancy, consultancy and assurance firm in London has issued a statement that stated  “the world would reach 6 degrees of warming by the end of the century even if we doubled our reduction of CO2 now”.  That is not a very positive statement.

Think of Rising Temperatures on our Planet like a Fever in our Body

Dr. Leiserowitz makes the comparison of our Planet warming to a fever in the human body.  When you get a fever of 1 degree over 98.7F you kinda feel ok but not really on top of your game.  This is where we are now.

After 2 degrees you realize that you really don’t feel well.  This is where we will be soon.

After 3 or 4 degrees you are really ill.  Its too late at this point to do much.

After 5 or 6 degrees your systems start shutting down.  We don’t want to ever reach this point.

So when our children have to deal with this extremely ill planet what will they ever be able to do to turn things around?

The Politics of Communication

Dr. Leiserowitz notes that there are basically six levels of informed Americans when it comes to climate change.

1) Alarm – 16% of Americans know its happening, that its mostly human caused and they really don’t know the solution.

2) Concerned – 29% of Americans know something is happening and its serious.  However they are not sure when it might happen.  It is distant in time and space.

3) Cautious – 25% of Americans are Cautious.  If its happening is it serious?  Their minds are not yet made up.

4) Dont Know – 8% of Americans really don’t know much.  Just some basic information that something may be going on.

5) Doubtful – 13% of Americans are not sure its really happening, and if it is it’s probably natural.

6) Dismissive – 8% of Americans believe that its not happening, it’s probably a hoax or even worse, its a conspiracy.  Unfortunately this a loud and dominating group that tends to publicize and spread disinformation.

So which category do you fall under?

The problem is the overwhelming majority of reputable climate scientists in this world know that climate change is real.  Unfortunately our elected officials are unable to act.

To listen to the full interview click on the link below:

End the Silence!

Do what you must to bring this subject to our elected officials.  Tell them to stop their inaction on climate change issues.  Tell them you want them to engage in serious discussion on what actions need to be taken to keep us from the ugly future climate change is moving us toward.  Tell them that the Earths Climate does not care if you are a Republican or Democrat.  Climate change will impact all Americans.

Arctic sea ice extent on 12 September 2012, in white, compared with the 1979-2000 median, marked with a red line.

Arctic sea ice extent on 12 September 2012, in white, compared with the 1979-2000 median, marked with a red line.


About rsingram

Environmental Specialist, Disaster Reservist, Certified Professional in Erosion and Sediment Control, Para-Archeologist
This entry was posted in Climate Change, Education, Human Character and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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