At NY Times.com, More on Communicating Climate Change

At ClimateWire, one of the new innovative models for science journalism, Christa Marshall has a great feature on how language will shape the pending political battle over cap and trade legislation.

The syndicated story is picked up by NY Times.com and features insights from George Lakoff, Stanford's Jon Krosnick, various pollsters, and yours truly. Here's what I have to offer, emphasizing similar themes that I have written about at Framing Science and in various articles:

According to Matthew Nisbet, an assistant professor of communication at American University, the slew of phrases poses an additional problem for the president, particularly since opponents appear united around "tax" as an attack mechanism.

With polls showing that the American public continues to rank climate change low on its radar in comparison to other concerns, the pro-cap crowd needs to get behind one set of talking points, he said.

The president should counterattack to a degree, he said, but should use allies from interest groups, the religious community and the Republican party to flood the media with a positive message and control the news cycle. In his view, a monthlong marketing campaign is needed to demonstrate in a tangible way how a global-warming bill could benefit local communities and spur "green" jobs.

"I do think there is a big danger [for Obama] to get distracted by climate skeptics and spend too much time on the defensive," said Nisbet.



​There are two kinds of failure – but only one is honorable

Malcolm Gladwell teaches "Get over yourself and get to work" for Big Think Edge.

Big Think Edge
  • Learn to recognize failure and know the big difference between panicking and choking.
  • At Big Think Edge, Malcolm Gladwell teaches how to check your inner critic and get clear on what failure is.
  • Subscribe to Big Think Edge before we launch on March 30 to get 20% off monthly and annual memberships.
Keep reading Show less

This is the best (and simplest) world map of religions

Both panoramic and detailed, this infographic manages to show both the size and distribution of world religions.

(c) CLO / Carrie Osgood
Strange Maps
  • At a glance, this map shows both the size and distribution of world religions.
  • See how religions mix at both national and regional level.
  • There's one country in the Americas without a Christian majority – which?
Keep reading Show less

New alternative to Trump's wall would create jobs, renewable energy, and increase border security

A consortium of scientists and engineers have proposed that the U.S. and Mexico build a series of guarded solar, wind, natural gas and desalination facilities along the entirety of the border.

Credit: Purdue University photo/Jorge Castillo Quiñones
Politics & Current Affairs
  • The proposal was recently presented to several U.S. members of Congress.
  • The plan still calls for border security, considering all of the facilities along the border would be guarded and connected by physical barriers.
  • It's undoubtedly an expensive and complicated proposal, but the team argues that border regions are ideal spots for wind and solar energy, and that they could use the jobs and fresh water the energy park would create.
Keep reading Show less
Image source: Topical Press Agency / Getty Images
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Though we know today that his policies eventually ended the Great Depression, FDR's election was seen as disastrous by some.
  • A group of wealthy bankers decided to take things into their own hands; they plotted a coup against FDR, hoping to install a fascist dictator in its stead.
  • Ultimately, the coup was brought to light by General Smedley Butler and squashed before it could get off the ground.
Keep reading Show less