Tools for Communicating Climate Change

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Delivered to Arlingtonians for a Clean Environment Annual Meeting, March 3, 2011

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  • DC actually beat Seattle to bag fee
  • Central Point: Importance of knowing audience
  • But “audience” wrong word
  • ENCOURAGESOLVABLEKEY FOR THE CLIMATE PROJECT AUDIENCE
  • SOLUTIONWON’T BE POLITICALCAN BE CONSUMER ACTIVISTS
  • WHY IS IT BAD?
  • WHY IS IT BAD?EDUCATION
  • SCIENTISTS AGREEASK: WHAT SHOULD WE DO???ENERGY EFFICIENCYMESSAGEExample: Grandmother. Brings up objections to GW when it’s mentioned, but has great depression thrift mentality: turns off lights, recycles, and gives to Nature Conservancy.
  • IGNOREOR ENERGY EFFICIENCYMESSAGEExample:JamesInhoff, but also former Senator from Idaho, McClure, who was big Sagebrush rebellion leader, but also drove an electric car (!)
  • Cover slide
  • Cover slide
  • Disengaged score very highly on knowledge. Leiserowitz
  • Cover slide
  • People reject or accept the science based on what the proposed solution resulting from the science is.People trust scientists if they agree with their science conclusions
  • Bad Models: People have the perspective that humans are too small to be affecting the climate“say hottest year” instead of “warming”“Risk,” “Uncertainty” => emphasize certaintyMetaphors: “Antibiotic”Loaded dice
  • Tools for Communicating Climate Change

    1. 1. Tools for Communicating Climate Change<br />Arlingtonians for a Clean Environment<br />March 3, 2011<br />Justin Rolfe-Redding, M.A.<br />
    2. 2. ME, 2009<br />
    3. 3. What We Do<br />Social Marketing<br />
    4. 4. Road Map<br />Research Six Americas Segmentation <br />Application Common Challenges<br />Solution Overcoming Challenges<br />
    5. 5. We often talk about <br />reaching the <br />“general public”<br />
    6. 6. To maximize impact:Target your most important audience(s)Tailor your messages accordingly<br />
    7. 7. Regarding climate change, however, Americans are NOT of one mind. <br />
    8. 8. Who are your most important audiences?<br />
    9. 9. Global Warming’s Six Americas<br />Source: Yale & George Mason, June 2010 <br />
    10. 10. Faces of Global Warming’s Six Americas<br />
    11. 11. Alarmed Alice <br />Alice is completely sure global warming is happening, she believes it is human caused, and she feels personally threatened by it. She also believes that people around the world are already being harmed by it, or will soon be.<br />Alice is only modestly more likely than average to be taking steps to reduce her energy use, but she is far more likely than average to use her purchasing power - and her voice as a citizen - to advocate for change. Alice supports a wide range of policy responses to address global warming.<br />
    12. 12. Concerned Claudia<br />Claudia is very sure global warming is happening, and she believes it is human causes, but she feels less personally threatened by it than Alice. She believes that global warming will begin to harm people around the world 10+ years from now. <br />Claudia is average in terms of taking measures to reduce her energy consumption, but well above average in terms of using her purchasing power to advocate for change. Claudia supports aggressive government policies, but is unlikely to contact her elected officials to say so.<br />
    13. 13. Cautious Carl <br />Carl is only somewhat sure that global warming is happening, and he is equally likely to see it as human caused or not. He sees global warming as a more distant threat – primarily a threat to other people – that won’t begin to hurt people around the world for another 25 - 50 years. <br />Carl is taking average steps to reduce his energy consumption, but isn’t involved in addressing global warming in other ways. He is, however, modestly supportive of a range of proposed policies.<br />
    14. 14. Disengaged Diane<br />Diane thinks global warming may be happening, but she’s not at all sure. She’s given it very little thought, doesn’t consider it personally important, and doesn’t feel she knows anything about it.<br />Diane has done relatively little to reduce her use of energy at home, but because she has lower than average income she is more likely than average not to rely on her own car.<br />Despite her low level of personal concern, Diane is more supportive than Carl of mounting a national response to global warming. <br />
    15. 15. Doubtful David<br />David says he doesn’t know if real or not, but if it is, he’s pretty sure it isn’t human-caused. David certainly isn’t worried about it; he sees global warming as a very distant threat that won’t harm people for at least another 100 years.<br />David isn’t in favor of a national response to global warming per se, but he is modestly in favor of a range of energy-saving policy measures, and is active in improving energy-efficiency in his home. <br />
    16. 16. Dismissive Dan<br />Dan simply does not believe that global warming is happening – or that it’s in God’s hands - and he believes that many scientists share his views. Needless to say, Dan doesn’t support any form of government action against global warming. <br />Although vigorously opposed to government action on global warming, he himself is quite active in making energy-efficient improvements to his home. <br /> <br />
    17. 17. “If you could ask an expert on global warming one question, <br />which question would you ask?”<br />What can the US do to reduce global warming?<br />How do you know that global warming is occurring?<br />What harm will global warming cause?<br />Source: Yale & George Mason, June 2010 <br />
    18. 18. Source: Yale & George Mason, 2008<br />
    19. 19. Activate the Alarmed and Concerned<br />
    20. 20. Convince the Cautions and Disengaged<br />
    21. 21. Reach out to the Doubtful and Dismissive<br />
    22. 22. Changes Over Time<br />Source: Yale & George Mason, 2008, 2010 <br />
    23. 23. APPLICATION<br />
    24. 24. Conventional Wisdom<br />
    25. 25. But Big Problems!<br />Lots of knowledgeable people aren’t concerned<br /> Concern is high, but no action<br />Lots of people taking action aren’t concerned<br />
    26. 26. Three Common Challenges<br />Some people don’t believe the Science<br />Some people don’t understand importance.<br />Some people don’t act.<br />
    27. 27. Some people don’t believe the Science<br />How do you know that global warming is occurring?<br />Research<br />Cultural cognition<br />Solution<br />Use appropriate messengers<br />
    28. 28. Some people don’t understand importance.<br />What harm will global warming cause?<br />Research<br />Curse of Knowledge<br />Solution<br />Use understandable language<br />
    29. 29. Some people don’t act.<br />What can the US do to reduce global warming?<br />Research<br />Fear appeals in health <br />Solution<br />Provide empowerment!<br />
    30. 30. In Sum…<br />Mindset Begin and end with your audiences<br />Plan Consider their unique strengths and deficits<br />ActionConnect through appropriate messages<br />
    31. 31. Simple, clear messages, repeated often, by a variety of trusted sources.Professor Maibach’s formula for communication impact<br />
    32. 32. Simple, clear messages, repeated often, by a variety of trusted sources.Professor Maibach’s formula for communication impact<br />
    33. 33. Thank You!<br />Justin Rolfe-Redding, M.A.<br />jrolfere@gmu.edu<br />
    34. 34. All 4C reports can be downloaded at:<br />Climatechangecommunication.org<br />Justin Rolfe-Redding, M.A.<br />jrolfere@gmu.edu<br />

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