There are many ways we can help people understand how human activity is directly related to rising global temperatures. Research studies can offer a number of suggestions, but in general, research is really hard to read – it’s not written in a way that makes sense to a lay audience. Let’s summarize some recent research on anthropogenic climate change; by building on what scientists have determined, we can learn more about communicating important climate information to others.
“When informed about the causes, impacts, and solutions of climate change, most people in the U.S. will update their own views on climate change, risk perceptions, and policy support.” — Thinking and Reasoning, July 2022
The most important cause of climate change is the burning of fossil fuels for electricity, heat and transport. Of these factors, transport in the form of cars, trucks, ships, trains and planes produces the largest percentage of CO2 – accelerating global warming and remaining a significant cause of climate change. Extreme weather is impact climate change and includes stronger storms and hurricanes, heat waves, wildfires, more flooding and longer droughts. Some practical ways in which climate change can be mitigated they include stopping the use of fossil fuels, electrifying everything, stopping deforestation, adopting a plant-based diet and eliminating plastic purchases whenever possible.
“This new ‘adaptive framework’ focuses on adapting to the impacts of climate change without fueling deeply held beliefs by discussing the causes.” — Communication Research, May 2022
To help others “without deeply advocating beliefs by discussing causes”, we would focus on “adapting to the impacts of climate change”. Adaptation living in a changing climate requires adapting to the current or expected future climate. This includes reducing risks from the harmful effects of climate change, such as sea level rise, more intense extreme weather events or food shortages. This means identifying potential beneficial opportunities associated with climate change, such as growing different crops, building flood defenses, planning for heat waves and higher temperatures, installing better-draining pavements to address floods and stormwater, and improving water storage and use.
“A recommendation from this research would be to use ‘positive reinforcement + ethos’ as an incentive to motivate the general population…” — Sustainability, May 2022
Ethos is an ethical appeal to right and wrong and builds authority with the audience by offering reliability, honesty and trustworthiness. Celebrities such as Leonardo DiCaprio, Jane Fonda, Greta Thunberg, Mark Ruffalo and Prince Harry are some of the most outspoken advocates of climate change, constantly using their status and reach to support climate action, combat climate change issues and improve the climate. the state of the planet for future reference. Moreover, when elite conservative leaders use their rhetoric to encourage the adoption of more climate friendly positions for the good of their citizens, their supporters tend to follow suit.
“Videos about the reality and risks of climate change to people…designed to appeal to Republicans…were targeted to this audience through online ads. The study found that in targeted congressional districts, the campaign increased Republican understanding of the existence, causes and harms of climate change by several percentage points. — Nature Climate Change, June 2021
We are a visual information company of the 21st century. Visual literacy involves being aware of what we experience when we look at pictures and thinking about videoand other forms of multimedia. New Climate Voices, a group of conservatives advocating for climate action on Facebook and YouTube, has increased Republican understanding of climate change through prominent use of video stories.
“Participants were presented with four principles that explain how individual actions can have cumulative effects at the collective level: social norms, consumer pressure, political pressure, and snowball effects…revealed promising intervention effects in terms of individual efficacy and pro-environmental intentions. .” — Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, November 2021
Yes, Big Oil is the biggest culprit of climate change. Still, each of us can help limit global warming and take care of our planet, which can convince lawmakers to support renewable energy sources. By subscribing individual actions that have less harmful effects on the environment, we can be part of the solution and affect change. Here are a few of the many organizations helping individuals take climate action:
- ActNow is the United Nations’ campaign for individual action on climate change and sustainability.
- 350.org is building a global grassroots movement to take on the entire fossil fuel industry.
- The YEARS project is led by a group of journalists, strategists, filmmakers, artists and social media professionals who are committed to using their skills to elevate and support the work of others in the movement. By joining, individuals will receive a weekly edition of the Action Toolkit for the Climate Movement.
- Citizens Climate Lobby empowers ordinary people to work together on climate policy.
- The Climate Reality Movement is a catalyst for a global solution to the climate crisis by making urgent action imperative across all sectors of society.
“Finding ways to inspire political conservative support for climate change mitigation is critical in the United States. These results suggest that private sector initiatives may be a way to strengthen support for climate action across the US political spectrum. — Energy Research and Social Sciences, March 2021
The the private sector plays a huge role in providing solutions to climate change. In fact, projects funded by blended finance programs are on track to achieve emissions reductions of more than 18 million tonnes of carbon each year. That’s roughly the equivalent of 5.5 million cars going off the road every year. U.S. Secretary of State for Climate Action John Kerry said the private sector is capable of finding solutions to climate change by funding the trillions needed for a global clean energy transition. Kerry points to methods such as battery storage, direct carbon capture in the air, and solar and wind technologies that provide extraordinary amounts of energy to countries around the world.
Final thoughts on research and rising global temperatures
According to an ongoing temperature analysis led by scientists at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), the average global temperature on Earth has increased by at least 1.1° Celsius (1.9° Fahrenheit) since 1880. Most of the warming has occurred since 1880. 1975, at a rate of roughly 0.15 to 0.20°C per decade.
The easiest way for climate activists to communicate this information is to dig deep and rely on repetition to highlight how meaningful improvements for workers will increase exponentially with the transition to renewable energy. Yet cognitive linguist George Lakoff argues that it is important to reframe environmental issues on the climate news front. Such reframing means that we must constantly reassess and reinvent methods to help everyone in the world understand the existential crisis we face as a result of rising global temperatures.
To do this well requires a foundation of sound scientific research. To find out from such academic sources what is important to share with an everyday audience requires careful reading. It is really important that we take the time to understand peer-reviewed climate research in order to have the most accurate and effective understanding of climate messaging and persuasion.
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