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PA13A-1987. Navigating Negative Conversations in Climate Change (Invited) Scott A. Mandia; John P. Abraham; Jan W. Dash; Michael C. Ashley Abstract: Politically.

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Presentation on theme: "PA13A-1987. Navigating Negative Conversations in Climate Change (Invited) Scott A. Mandia; John P. Abraham; Jan W. Dash; Michael C. Ashley Abstract: Politically."— Presentation transcript:

1 PA13A Navigating Negative Conversations in Climate Change (Invited) Scott A. Mandia; John P. Abraham; Jan W. Dash; Michael C. Ashley Abstract: Politically charged public discussions of climate change often lead to polarization as a direct result of many societal, economic, religious and other factors which form opinions. For instance, the general public views climate change as a political discussion rather than a scientific matter. Additionally, many media sources such as websites and mainstream venues and persons have served to promote the controversy. Scientists who engage in a public discourse of climate change often encounter politically charged environments and audiences. Traditional presentations of the science without attention paid to political, social, or economic matters are likely to worsen the existing divide. An international organization, the Climate Science Rapid Response Team (CSRRT) suggests a strategy that can be used to navigate potentially troublesome situations with divided audiences. This approach can be used during live lecture presentations, and radio, print, or television interviews. The strategy involves identifying alternative motivations for taking action on climate change. The alternative motivations are tailored to the audience and can range from national defense, economic prosperity, religious motivation, patriotism, energy independence, or hunting/fishing reasons. Similar messaging modification can be used to faithfully and accurately convey the importance of taking action on climate change but present the motivations in a way that will be received by the audience. Reaching a Wide AudienceSending the Right Message A match-making service to connect climate scientists with lawmakers and the media Currently 151 members with four match-makers Committed to providing rapid, high-quality information to media and government officials Member scientists are chosen to cover a wide array of topics related to climate science (IPCC WGI, WGII, and WGIII) Selection based upon their publications in professional peer-reviewed scientific journals as well as good communication skills Inquiry sent via form on web pages Matchmakers field inquiry and select scientists with the appropriate expertise Inquiry is sent to scientist(s) via Scientist(s) responds directly to inquirer via or phone call CSRRT has fielded 335 inquiries Government Television Radio Newspapers, journals, magazines News wire services Many online news & information sites Other science communication organizations House Climate Hearings (Jan, Feb, and Mar. 2011) Live chat via Web with Science Press conference post-hearing White House Office of Science & Technology Policy (May 2011) Severe weather report for John Holdren titled: A brief assessment of the impact of large-scale climate change on severe thunderstorms and tornadoes Climate Bloggers Group Invitation-only group of international reporters, bloggers, and climate scientists that cover climate news 24 hours a day MSM members: Los Angeles Times, The Guardian (UK), AFP News Wire, others Online news: Huffington Post, The Daily Kos, Mother Jones, others. MANY bloggers including: Climate Progress, Skeptical Science, Media Matters, The Intersection, Climate Science Watch, others Goal: PROACTIVE instead of reactive – stories are framed with accurate information Diverse group allows for all to see through various lenses 50% is audience (cautious, disengaged, doubtful), dismissive will not be convinced Distill Your Message: Start with a take-home message. Let them know why they should care. INVERT YOUR PYRAMID Avoid the science jargon but do not dumb it down Use drama and tell a story Emphasize the discoveries and not the caveats Connect it to peoples lives somehow Do not be modest – be proud of your work and show it Beat the Curse of Knowledge: Know the audience Wear their shoes What is their world-view? How do I connect? This takes advance preparation How to Connect & Engage: Keep the message simple Find a few core points/ideas and stick with them Capture attention by emphasizing the unexpected Display emotion Use metaphors, analogy, stories, etc. Offer hope and choice From: Physics Today Download Messaging Box at Webinar Series: A Scientists Guide to Communicating Climate Science Conservative radio interview – listen to how Mandia connects with the 50% using strategies listed above


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