Communications medley: the grandkids won’t be alright

In this week's round up: the grandkids won't be alright (if we have anything to say about it), making ocean connections, and a bit of good news.

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.


Sorry grandkids, we don't care!

A new study has come out that spawned a variety of eye-catching headlines. "Delayed gratification hurts climate change cooperation!" "People don't put a high value on climate protection!" And my favorite "Why We Don’t Care About Saving Our Grandchildren From Climate Change."

These are all articles worth reading. The short version is that American and German researchers conducted a "collective-risk group experiment," the results of which support something you may already suspect: groups of people are unlikely to sacrifice much themselves to benefit future generations. We need short-term incentives to act.

Of course, assuming this study was done on WEIRD (Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic) people... here's another argument for diversity in the environmental movement.


Making connections

Conservation and environmental actions can be hard to communicate; here are some stories that may help make the connection.

Latinos Lead the Way in the Green Economy
Speaking of diversity, here are some numbers: by 2050, 33% of American workers will be Latino. Almost 90% of Latinos polled "said they'd prefer to work in clean energy industries than fossil fuels."

Warmer oceans put Northwest streams at risk
Making the connection between ocean health and the local community can be a toughie for communicators who work inland. This article describes how warmer oceans affect animal life in rivers; a local story like this can provide an opportunity to talk about animals, local habitats, and actions people can take to help turn things around.

More Americans die from car pollution than car accidents
This is a bit morbid but definitely a "sticky" message. In the US, pollution from cars kills more people than traffic accidents. Which do we fear more?

And finally... some good news

CHARTS: US Carbon Emissions Are Dropping
US carbon emissions from energy use dropped almost 4% between 2011 - 2012! Not only that, but the GDP grew during this time. Reducing energy consumption doesn't mean the economy will suffer. What's more? HALF of the cuts came from reductions in household energy use!