In this week's round up: complicated polling on climate opinions, the so-called 'climate pause' is actually a success story, lessons for communicators from Lady Gaga, indigenous leaders abandon faith in the UN, PLUS - can museums advance action AND enhance experience?
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 week we break down the most interesting recent news and best resources to help you frame the issues as effectively as possible. Some of these resources will be practical communications and framing tips, and others are great starting points for brainstorming future strategies.
- US opinion on climate is complicated
- We can advocate and facilitate at museums
- Making change - personally and politically
Good news on US opinion - sort of
A few new polls were released this week that show just how complex the state of climate opinion is in the US. A study by Stanford University social psychologist Jon Krosnick found 75% of Americans acknowledge the existence of climate change and at least two-thirds of the population believes greenhouse gas emissions from U.S. businesses should be regulated. Even in Republican majority states!
However a Pew survey shows that, comparatively, the US lags behind the rest of the world in our approach to climate. Some numbers from that survey:
- 67% of Americans believe there is solid evidence of global warming
- 44% of them blame it on human activity
- a median of 54% or more of publics in Canada, Europe, the Asia Pacific, Latin America and Africa saw global warming as a major threat to their countries
- The only region in the spring survey where public concern about climate change as a danger was as low as in the U.S. was the Middle East (42%)
Facilitator or advocate? BOTH!
Center for the Future of Museums: Choosing Roles: Can we advance action AND enhance experience?
"Would you rather be loved, or would you rather save the world?" Douglas Myer says "no need to choose!" Our communications research shows that not only do informal science center visitors want information on how they can help the environment, they expect and appreciate it.
What Can Climate Scientists Learn from Lady Gaga?
Sightline gives the short and sweet version of Joe Romm's handbook for communicators. The book is about rhetoric, and I highly recommend it for those who write on the web. Lots of good, age-old but evergreen tips on sticky messages.
A mixed bag of interesting reading.
Look What's Slowing Down Global Warming
This cool story is an antidote for that helpless feeling that can come from thinking about the vast challenge of climate change. Remember that global warming "hiatus" that had people abuzz recently? Turns out it was probably because 40 countries signed the Montreal Protocol back in 1988 - agreeing to phase out ozone killing gases like chlorofluorocarbons. CFCs also trap heat in the atmosphere, so getting rid of them resulted in a little less warming than there would have been otherwise.
Worlds apart: Indigenous leaders abandon faith in UN to find climate solution
I really enjoyed reading this story about indigenous leaders who are fed up with UN climate talks. They have an interesting message of personal action and responsibility that I think will resonate with a lot of people.