Communicating Climate Change: Sometimes It's Not about the Science

Wednesday, 17 December 2014: 12:05 PM
Scott A Mandia, Suffolk County Comm. College, Selden, NY, United States
Although there is an overwhelming scientific consensus that humans are driving modern day climate change, a significant portion of Americans are not convinced. This gap in understanding challenges both instructors and students who wish to effectively communicate climate change science. Individuals subconsciously resist factual information that threatens their worldview. Their misperceptions are reinforced by journalistic false balance, coordinated misinformation campaigns, and incorrect or misleading information that is easily accessible via social media. Here the author presents effective refutation strategies that avoid the most common backfire effects while also offering strategies to properly frame the discussion to audiences holding diverse worldviews.