NOAA Video Town Hall Series on the Climate Change Challenge
Matthew C. Nisbet, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Communication Studies, Public Policy, and Urban Affairs at Northeastern University. Nisbet studies the role of communication and advocacy in policymaking and public affairs, focusing on debates over over climate change, energy, and sustainability. Among awards and recognition, Nisbet has been a Visiting Shorenstein Fellow on Press, Politics, and Public Policy at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, a Health Policy Investigator at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and a Google Science Communication Fellow. In 2011, the editors at the journal Nature recommended Nisbet's research as “essential reading for anyone with a passing interest in the climate change debate,” and the New Republic highlighted his work as a “fascinating dissection of the shortcomings of climate activism."
This week, NOAA's Climate Service and Climate Watch magazine launched a video short course and lecture series featuring a diversity of world class experts explaining the major scientific, social, and ethical challenges related to climate change. I was honored to be able to contribute to the series with a lecture focused on new directions for climate change communication and public engagement.
The series was organized by David Herring, NOAA's Director of Education and Communication and held in Virginia as part of George Mason University's lifelong learning program. Lectures and speakers in the series include:
Below is the description for my talk which draws on studies familiar to readers of this blog including last year's Climate Shift report and the pioneering "Six Americas of Global Warming" research led by collaborators Edward Maibach (GMU Center for Climate Change Communication) and Anthony Leiserowitz (Yale Project on Climate Change).
Social scientist and communication expert Mathew Nisbet talks about the state of public climate literacy today. What actions are people likely or not likely to take, and why? How might scientists better engage the public in critical decision-making forums? Constant debates about whether or not global warming is really happening have grown stale and miss the point entirely. Shouldn’t we be talking about how society can leverage climate science in ways that promote economic growth; save lives and valuable natural resources; and create new markets for jobs, products, and services?
Additional Online Lectures Focusing on Climate Change Communication
There are several other excellent online presentations and lectures offering complementary perspectives on climate change communication. A leading resource is the presentation by the New York Times' Andrew Revkin "Conveying the Climate Change Story," given last year at Google HQ in Mountain View, California as part of the Google Science Communication Fellows program.
For another excellent focus on communication challenges and new directions, see scientist-filmmaker Randy Olson's lecture "Dude, Where's My Climate Change Movement?" delivered earlier this year at the World Wildlife Federation's Fuller Symposium.
For an important perspective on climate policy and the connection to communication, see this Q&A talk that I did last year with the University of Colorado's Roger Pielke Jr here at American University, excerpt below with other excerpts and a write up here.
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Infographics show the classes and anxieties in the supposedly classless U.S. economy.
For those of us who follow politics, we’re used to commentators referring to the President’s low approval rating as a surprise given the U.S.'s “booming” economy. This seeming disconnect, however, should really prompt us to reconsider the measurements by which we assess the health of an economy. With a robust U.S. stock market and GDP and low unemployment figures, it’s easy to see why some think all is well. But looking at real U.S. wages, which have remained stagnant—and have, thus, in effect gone down given rising costs from inflation—a very different picture emerges. For the 1%, the economy is booming. For the rest of us, it’s hard to even know where we stand. A recent study by Porch (a home-improvement company) of blue-collar vs. white-collar workers shows how traditional categories are becoming less distinct—the study references "new-collar" workers, who require technical certifications but not college degrees. And a set of recent infographics from CreditLoan capturing the thoughts of America’s middle class as defined by the Pew Research Center shows how confused we are.
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