Climate change communication – success or failure?

1,130 views

Published on

Presentation by Sir Mark Walport on climate change communication at the Walker Institute Annual Lecture on 5 June 2014.

Watch the video of the lecture: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b1hwzO_HmcA

#walkerlecture

0 Comments
1 Like
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Views
Total views
1,130
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
33
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
20
Comments
0
Likes
1
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide
  • This value system therefore represents ideals and principles which underpin a normative vision for change. The value system that we set out here can provide a basis for energy system change that engages with, and is responsive to, public concerns.
    Reducing overall energy use and dependency on finite resources for energy production are overarching principles for energy system change. The findings show clear and strong preferences in this respect. Although both of these principles are closely linked to the other values. Crucially, reducing overall energy use and dependency on finite resources are seen as important for attaining all other aspects of desirable change encompassed within the values outlined here.
    Using less energy =
    decrease vulnerability in term of shocks to supply and cost of energy
    requires the use of fewer resources positive effects are perceived for the natural environment.
    As such, reducing energy use overall makes changes in other aspects of the system easier.
    Reducing high consumption of finite resources =
    positive implications for the security and stability of the energy system.
    Publics see the current dependence on finite fossil fuels as amplifying concerns around cost, reliability, environmental harm, and so on.
    These are perceived as principally addressable through the use of other types of fuels.
  • Climate change communication – success or failure?

    1. 1. Climate Change Communication – Success or Failure? Walker Institute Annual Lecture, 2014 Sir Mark Walport, Chief Scientific Adviser to HM Government
    2. 2. Why do we communicate climate science? Presentation title - edit in Header and Footer …and to counter misinformation To inform… 2 Walker Institute Annual Lecture, 2014
    3. 3. Presentation title - edit in Header and Footer Why do we communicate climate science? To aid policy and decision making 3 Walker Institute Annual Lecture, 2014 Credit: Reuters
    4. 4. Presentation title - edit in Header and Footer Why do we communicate climate science? To empower individual decision-making 4 Walker Institute Annual Lecture, 2014 Credit: John Lamb/GETTY Credit: Carbon Trust Credit: Ludovic Hirlimann (CC-BY-SA-2.0) Credit: Keep Britain Tidy Credit: FDIN Credit: Joybot (CC-BY-SA-2.0)
    5. 5. Climate change is one of the science topics people feel most well informed about 5 Walker Institute Annual Lecture, 2014 Source: Public Attitudes to Science 2014
    6. 6. Research on public perceptions of climate change has shown: • People are concerned about climate change, believe it is happening, but some still think it is natural variation • View it as a distant problem affecting other people and times • Recognise the effects (heat, melting glaciers) but don’t spontaneously connect these with anthropogenic causes (energy use, deforestation) • Many causes (e.g. electricity use) ‘invisible’ in everyday life • Can confuse climate change with other environmental issues (e.g. ozone) Source: Lorenzoni and Pidgeon (2006) Climatic Change, 77, 73-95; Lorenzoni, Pidgeon and O’Connor, R. (2005) Risk Analysis, 25, 1387-1398. But is there a disconnect between feeling well informed, and level of understanding? 6 Walker Institute Annual Lecture, 2014
    7. 7. Source: Ipsos MORI/Cardiff University/UKERC, 2013 7 Walker Institute Annual Lecture, 2014 And while there is scientific consensus that the climate is changing, among the public there is more doubt
    8. 8. Presentation title - edit in Header and Footer Levels of concern about climate change among the public have also dropped 8 Walker Institute Annual Lecture, 2014 2005: 82% concerned 2010: 71%concerned 2013: 60% concerned Source: Ipsos MORI/Cardiff University/UKERC, 2013
    9. 9. Where do the public get their scientific information from? Source: Public Attitudes to Science 2014 Eighth in Google’s list of top ten most searched ‘what is…?’ questions in 2013 Traditional media dominates, but on-line media also has an important role 9 Walker Institute Annual Lecture, 2014
    10. 10. Digital media offers new opportunities for engagement between scientists and the public www.myclimateandme.com
    11. 11. There was a large (but short-lived) peak in on-line conversation about climate change when the IPCC WGI report published 11 Walker Institute Annual Lecture, 2014 Source: Public Attitudes to Science 2014 - social listening Q4 (Sept to Dec) 2013 (BIS/Ipsos MORI) With a strong traditional news element Numberofon-line conversations
    12. 12. • Discussion of science issues online often takes place among the pre- engaged, who already hold strong views. Even the most animated Twitter debate is unlikely to reach many people who are not already interested. • Much online debate is partisan. Where people in online conversations cited scientific evidence, it was usually to shore up ethical or political arguments. • The messenger matters. Many of the debates around some of the more contentious topics boiled down to discussions of scientific authority. People argued over what this actually meant as well as who possessed it. • Trust is likely to be highest in organisations seen as independent and scientists aligned with them. • Much on-line conversation consists of links back to traditional media sources – the BBC and traditional media in particular, but also the more accessible specialist media. • Science alone isn’t enough. Communication which is visually interesting, humorous, or relevant to people’s daily lives, is more ‘shareable’. 12 Walker Institute Annual Lecture, 2014 Social listening provides insights for on-line science engagement Source: Public Attitudes to Science 2014 - social listening (BIS/Ipsos MORI)
    13. 13. Source: Shuckburgh, Robison, Pidgeon, 2012 (LWEC/DECC) The messenger matters: Scientists have a responsibility to communicate the science of climate change Percentage who trust various authority groups to give correct information on climate change 13 Walker Institute Annual Lecture, 2014
    14. 14. Political messages also matter: ‘Elite cues’ 14 Walker Institute Annual Lecture, 2014 Credit: westerndailypress.co.uk
    15. 15. Effective communication requires an understanding of your audience Source: Rankmaniac, 2012 15 Walker Institute Annual Lecture, 2014
    16. 16. 16 Walker Institute Annual Lecture, 2014 “If you say the world is going to end, people switch off thinking ‘here they go again, trying to sell us something’.” Focus group participant, Sutton Coldfield (Shuckburgh et al, 2012) “If you say the world is going to end, people switch off thinking ‘here they go again, trying to sell us something’.” Focus group participant, Sutton Coldfield (Shuckburgh et al, 2012) Framing matters: Positive or negative framing (and values emphasised) can influence how information is assimilated
    17. 17. Presentation title - edit in Header and Footer Locality specific information has more resonance 17 Walker Institute Annual Lecture, 2014 “If it’s local to you it’s definitely more interesting because you can identify with it.” Focus group participant, Newcastle (Shuckburgh et al, 2012) “If it’s local to you it’s definitely more interesting because you can identify with it.” Focus group participant, Newcastle (Shuckburgh et al, 2012)
    18. 18. Perception of future risk is influenced by experience 18 Walker Institute Annual Lecture, 2014 Source: Defra/Ipsos MORI/AEA Technology, 2013
    19. 19. Perception of future risk is influenced by experience 19 Walker Institute Annual Lecture, 2014 Source: Defra/Ipsos MORI/AEA Technology, 2013
    20. 20. Language matters: The need for scientific precision needs to be balanced with the need to be understood by non-specialists 20 Walker Institute Annual Lecture, 2014 Source: Somerville and Hassol, Communicating the science of climate change, Physics Today, October 2011
    21. 21. Presentation title - edit in Header and Footer • Climate change is happening • We are causing it • It’s likely to be bad • Scientists overwhelmingly agree on the first three points • There are things which can be done (although we may legitimately disagree on what precisely) Leiserowitz argues that climate change communication should contain five key messages: Narrative matters 21 Walker Institute Annual Lecture, 2014 “I almost feel like a lot of people writing newspapers nowadays have forgotten the art of story telling – telling where they are, telling you what’s going on in the middle and concluding.” Focus group participant, Sutton Coldfield (Shuckburgh et al, 2012) “I almost feel like a lot of people writing newspapers nowadays have forgotten the art of story telling – telling where they are, telling you what’s going on in the middle and concluding.” Focus group participant, Sutton Coldfield (Shuckburgh et al, 2012)
    22. 22. 22 Walker Institute Annual Lecture, 2014 We need to move the public debate on - from the science of climate change, to the science of response “I would have been interested in hearing more on the ‘how do we respond to climate change’ side of things…As a citizen I want to know how the science knowledge can be used to make good policy.” “I would have been interested in hearing more on the ‘how do we respond to climate change’ side of things…As a citizen I want to know how the science knowledge can be used to make good policy.” “Small sections relating to actions that could be taken but this section was not long enough.” “Small sections relating to actions that could be taken but this section was not long enough.” “My only comment was that I knew much of it already, although did learn a few new specifics.” “My only comment was that I knew much of it already, although did learn a few new specifics.” (Feedback received from talks at regional science centres)
    23. 23. Difficult policy issues need to be viewed through lenses Climate Change: Challenges for Science and Policy Parkhill et al, Transforming the Energy System – Public Values, Attitudes and Acceptability, 2013 (UKERC) 23 Walker Institute Annual Lecture, 2014 Credit: Thomas Shahan (CC-BY-NC-ND-2.0)
    24. 24. Reducing the use of finite resources Reducing overall levels of energy use Efficient Environmental protection Avoiding waste Capturing opportunities Naturalness and Nature Availability and Affordability Reliability Safety Autonomy and Freedom Choice and Control Social Justice Fairness, Honesty & Transparency Long-term trajectories Interconnected Improvement and quality (Source: Cardiff University, 2013) ...and take account of a range of public values 24 Walker Institute Annual Lecture, 2014
    25. 25. Communication is a two-way process - interactive public engagement can take many forms 25 Walker Institute Annual Lecture, 2014 www.my2050.decc.gov.uk
    26. 26. Climate Change Communication – Success or Failure? 26 Walker Institute Annual Lecture, 2014
    27. 27. Every effort has been made to trace copyright holders and to obtain their permission for the use of copyright material. We apologise for any errors or omissions in the included attributions and would be grateful if notified of any corrections that should be incorporated in future versions of this slide set. We can be contacted through enquiries@bis.gsi.gov.uk . @uksciencechief www.gov.uk/go-science

    ×