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Climate Reality: Communicating climate change to the next generation

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Presentation at Dublin City University's Science Communication Celsius Seminar on 'Communicating Climate Change' based on my work with Al Gore's Climate Reality project and preliminary data from teenagers on their opinions on climate change. Dr. Cara Augustenborg.

A written summary to accompany this presentation is available here: http://www.caraaugustenborg.com/news/faq-6-how-do-we-communicate-about-climate-change-to-the-next-generation

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Climate Reality: Communicating climate change to the next generation

  1. 1. Climate Reality: Communicating climate change to the next generation Dr. Cara Augustenborg Celsius Science Seminar Dublin City University March 5, 2015 @CAugustenborg @ClimateReality
  2. 2. “We are powering a social revolution for climate action.”
  3. 3. Climate Leadership Corps Training, Istanbul, June 2013
  4. 4. • Climate change: children’s challenge – Intergenerational Justice - UNICEF (2013) unicef.org.uk/climatechange • Schoolchildren as educators - Marchant (1996) J. of Biological Education 30(4). • Do Voters Affect or Elect Policies? – Lee et al. (2004) The Quarterly Journal of Economics 119(3). Why focus on the next generation?
  5. 5. Climate Reality school visits 2014 school visits: • St. Tiernan’s Community School • Holy Child Community School • Blackrock College • Holy Child Secondary School, Killiney Age: 12-18 (avg. = 15) Gender: 50:50 male-female Total survey responses: 237
  6. 6. Survey • Knowledge • Feelings Climate Reality Talk Survey • Knowledge • Interest • Feelings
  7. 7. Current understanding of climate change Top five knowns: • Changing temperature • GHGs/Greenhouse effect • Weather impacts • Global warming • Melting ice / ice caps Previous climate change education? 76% yes Current understanding: • 24% “poor” / “below average” • 50% “moderate” • 26% “above average” / “strong” N = 237
  8. 8. Feelings about climate change Feeling “I feel this strongly” Concerned 39% Powerless 31% Worried 30% Alarmed 27% Fascinated 27% Inquisitive 27% Disappointed 27% N = 209
  9. 9. Manhattan, New York October 29, 2012 Favourite climate change topics after Climate Reality talk 1. Weather impacts 2. Changes in temperature 3. Eskimos / Arctic 4. Future impacts 5. Solutions World map of yearly deviation from the long- term global average surface temperature (1951- 1980 base period), 1884-2013 (NASA)
  10. 10. Interest in climate change (after Climate Reality) Want to learn more about: • Solutions (incl. renewable energy, personal action) • Weather impacts • Future projections • Melting ice / ice caps • Temperature change
  11. 11. Before-After Climate Reality comparison Self-assessed understanding of climate change: Pre-talk Post-talk Above average / strong 26% 73% Moderate 50% 21% Poor / below average 24% 7% N = 237
  12. 12. Before-After Climate Reality comparison After hearing this talk are you interested… More Less Neither In the topic of climate change 80% 2% 18% In doing something to solve climate change 68% 3% 29% N = 228
  13. 13. Before-After Climate Reality comparison How feelings changed: N = 210 Feeling More Concerned 67% Fascinated 59% Alarmed 48% Feeling Less Confused 50% Bored 38% Helpless 31%
  14. 14. • Are generally aware and concerned/worried/interested • Interested in link between climate change and (extreme) weather • Respond to animations/videos • Like personal / human interest stories (e.g. Eskimos) • Want to know about solutions With respect to climate change, teenagers:
  15. 15. • Confidence in understanding of climate change • Interest in climate change • Likelihood of climate action • Concern about climate change • Empowerment Just one hour of climate education can potentially increase:
  16. 16. • Education vs. Entertainment • Objective vs. Inspiring • Impacts vs. Solutions • Concern vs. Empowerment Climate Reality: Communicating climate change to the next generation Find the Balance @CAugustenborg @ClimateReality
  17. 17. Climate Gathering: Climate Conversations 2015 Launch Event George Marshall, David Begg, Claire O’Connor, Oisin Coghlan, Terry Prone March 18, 7pm, Liberty Hall Dublin www.Eventbrite.ie

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