A 2022 study by Yale University found that two thirds of Americans (67%) rarely or never talk about climate change, and rarely or never hear people they know talking about it either. Despite the existential threat that it poses, one third of Americans (32%) only hear about global warming in the media a few times a year - or less!
Are these statistics shocking? Or does it matter that people don’t talk much about climate change? How important is public awareness and public discussion in the fight to address climate change? How much does public opinion shape climate policy, or drive individuals to reduce their own climate impacts? And, if climate communication IS important, how do we get more conversations started?
To mark Climate Now’s 100th episode, we partnered with the Network for Business Sustainability (NBS) to take an introspective look at the role of science communication: how does talking about climate change help address it? We are joined by three experts who look at communication in different ways: David Fenton, Founder of Fenton Communications, a social change communications firm, Leah Thomas, Founder of Intersectional Environmentalist - a climate justice collective known for its reach in environmental storytelling through social media, and Dr. Elke Weber, Professor in Energy and the Environment and in Psychology and Public Affairs at Princeton University. Together, we examine why communicating about climate change is hard, why we need to do it anyway, and what strategies, tools and events have the biggest impact in increasing awareness of the climate crisis and motivation to develop solutions.
Interested in how this knowledge could inform workplace climate conversations? Our partners at NBS just published an article on that subject, based on these interviews. Check it out!