If you’re a science communicator or educator at an informal science center (such as a zoo, aquarium, or museum) trying to encourage conservation action – this is the round up for you! Every Friday we break down the week’s most interesting news and best resources to help you frame the issues as effectively as possible.
One of these things is not like the other
We’d like to kick off this week with a puzzling confluence of events. See if you can pick the odd one out!
First, studies concluding “climate change is just awful” were big in the news this week. Scientists have found that global warming will intensify already extreme rainfalls, double the wildfire risk in US forests, and give people more diarrhea. So far so bad.
But there’s good news! A new Gallup poll found that almost half of Americans think the government is doing too little to protect the environment, and consumers care more about buying from socially responsible brands more than ever. Citigroup released an enlightening new report predicting that renewables will come out on top of the energy mix, with support from natural gas (as opposed to being pushed out by it), and German researchers have devised a way to link their renewable energy sources such that there’s no worry of black outs. Sounds better, what’s next?
Gallup and Pew have come out with some interesting poll numbers. Turns out the more Americans still prioritize the economy over environment and climate change is at the bottom of the nation’s policy priorities for 2013. Wait, what? Oh, and 66% of Americans support building the Keystone XL pipeline. Sorry this story didn’t have a happy ending, but that’s where communicators come in!
Some more food for thought on polls, though: how you ask the question can skew the result. An analysis of hundred of polls has found the American public mostly agrees on the reality of climate change.
I would also suggest reading this short and sweet article “One Weird Trick for Getting Republicans to Care About Climate” which is basically music to a communicator’s ears. It’s a peek at how smart framing aimed at your audience (in this case a toughie, Republicans) can help them see things a different way.
Mainstream green is still too white
A few articles to follow up on last week’s discussion of the lack of diversity in the mainstream environmental movement. Brentin Mock of Colorlines has a great round up of the issues and current events. The Sierra Club also released a new report on the state of Detroit’s environment – particularly how ridiculously bad it is in communities of color. Anyone who thinks the pollution problem is “largely solved” should probably take a look at that last article.
News and thoughts
- The World Bank has a novel idea for why we should save the ocean: billions of people rely on it to live.
- Not only that, but new research finds that marine reserves can stoke local economies. Win win!
- Grist has a great, depressing overview about what’s happening in Arkansas, where an old pipeline has ruptured. This really adds insult to injury as far as the previously linked poll about Americans’ support of the Keystone XL pipeline.
- Communicating sustainability: lessons from public health – a great, brief overview of great lessons for environmental communicators. Even if it’s stuff you already know, worth reading.
- Visual Story Lab – a project of Resource Media has released a new report on best practices for visual storytelling.