As every year, November will be another high season for international climate politics – with the 27th Conference of the Parties – the COP27 – starting next week. From November 7 to 18, delegates of all nations from the UNFCC will gather in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, to discuss how to proceed with international climate policy. All in all, more than 35,000 participants are registered. But what are the goals of this year’s conference, and what results can we realistically expect? Continue reading What Can We Expect From COP27?
What Can We Expect From COP27?
Climate Endgame – How to Research and Communicate Extreme Climate Risks?
“Are we screwed?”, “How bad is it gonna get?” – these are the questions that I most frequently get when I mention that I am in climate science. Newspaper coverage of a recent perspective article in PNAS seemed to suggest that we are actually headed towards a global catastrophe with potential extinction and that we know dangerously little about it: “Climate endgame: risk of human extinction ‘dangerously underexplored’ – Scientists say there are ample reasons to suspect global heating could lead to catastrophe”, or “We Are Not Freaking Out Enough About Climate Change”.
This media coverage has led other researchers to criticize the underlying article for being too gloomy – they argue it scares the public and overemphasizes the likelihood of catastrophic climate change. Continue reading Climate Endgame – How to Research and Communicate Extreme Climate Risks?
Telling the Truth, Uniting Behind the Science – Climate Coalitions and Science’s Place in Society
by Simone Rödder
In recent years, a new wave of climate activist groups, such as Extinction Rebellion, Fridays for Future and the Sunrise Movement have reshaped public debates on climate action. In so doing they refer to scientific evidence. But, how exactly do they understand science’s relationship to society? Drawing on documentary evidence, our recent study argues that the use of evidence by these groups, especially the reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), reflects an effective form of science communication, albeit one that leaves hierarchies of scientific knowledge largely intact.
“Unite behind the Science!” and “Tell the Truth!” are among the familiar slogans of the school-striking young activists inspired by Greta Thunberg and Extinction Rebellion. The new climate movements’ call to listen to science has become almost emblematic; it was printed, for example, on the sailboat Greta Thunberg used to cross the Atlantic in September 2019. But what do they actually mean by “science”? Continue reading Telling the Truth, Uniting Behind the Science – Climate Coalitions and Science’s Place in Society
“Cranky Uncle” – A Game Against Denial
One big question for climate change communication is how to deal with deniers and stop misinformation from spreading. A smartphone game called “Cranky Uncle” teaches players common techniques of denial, such as ‘cherry picking’, logical fallacies, and conspiracy theories.
What looks like a funny diversion is actually built upon a scientific theory and developed by a team with long experience working with climate change deniers – in the US, but also in other countries like Germany. Continue reading “Cranky Uncle” – A Game Against Denial
Global Climate Change in Local Journalism: How to Make Local Journalists Rethink Their Framing
Not only in photography do choice of angle and frame decide what we see. Photo by Ludovic Charlet, Pixabay.
Framing of climate change in local newspapers considerably influences how citizens perceive climate change in their living environment. A master thesis entitled “Global climate change in local journalism” takes a closer look at the main source of local media frames: cognitive frames from local journalists. This article summarizes the main results and presents six implications for improving local climate change reporting. Continue reading Global Climate Change in Local Journalism: How to Make Local Journalists Rethink Their Framing
The Soundtrack of the Climate Crisis – or: „Where are all the Climate Songs?“
Extreme weather events and forest fires have recently pushed the climate crisis up on the news agenda – still, going to the cinema or listening to the radio rarely gets us in contact with the topic. Where are the songs dealing with the climate crisis?
In two previous posts, we have written about climate change in pop songs and climate change in alternative and indie music (all posts of our series on “Climate Change in Pop Culture” can be found here). Now there is even a database for songs dealing with the climate crisis and mass extinction: Continue reading The Soundtrack of the Climate Crisis – or: „Where are all the Climate Songs?“
Nachhaltigkeit geht alle an – drei Beiträge zum Thema Nachhaltigkeitskommunikation
(English summary below)
Die aktuelle Ausgabe der Zeitschrift Communicatio Socialis versammelt diverse interessante Beiträge zum Thema Nachhaltigkeitskommunikation. Das Plädoyer darin: Nachhaltigkeit geht alle an, und auch Journalismus und Wissenschaft können sich nicht länger auf einen distanzierten Beobachterstatus zurückziehen.
Die Zeitschrift ist leider nicht frei lesbar. Für alle, die keinen Zugang zum Journal haben, sind hier drei Beiträge verfügbar – siehe hinterlegte Links:
„Plädoyer für eine bescheidene Weltverbesserung. Transformativer Journalismus und transformative Kommunikationswissenschaft“ (Michael Brüggemann)
„Nachhaltigkeit kultivieren. Öffentliche Kommunikation über Umwelt, Klima, nachhaltige Entwicklung und Transformation“ (Franzisca Weder)
„Transformation und Wiederverortung. Herausforderungen angesichts Klimanotstand und Artensterben“ (Torsten Schäfer)
Zur gesamten Ausgabe (Paywall): Communicatio Socialis (ComSoc), Jahrgang 55 (2022), Heft 2
Continue reading Nachhaltigkeit geht alle an – drei Beiträge zum Thema Nachhaltigkeitskommunikation
RCP-8.5: Business-As-Usual or Unrealistic Worst-Case? The contested interpretation of climate change scenarios
RCP-8.5 is not only the arguably most popular climate change scenario, it is also often framed in a very specific manner: as the business-as-usual trajectory that humanity is on if no climate change policies are adopted.
For an academic discipline that actively tries to be policy-relevant, climate science in the context of the IPCC is often weirdly inaccessible. An example of this is the rather cryptic naming of climate scenarios that form the backbone of IPCC reports and many climate modelling studies: names range from SSP1-1.9 to SSP5-8.5. A specific element of these mysterious scenarios – the so-called RCP-8.5 – has been the focus of a rather fierce academic debate.
Yet, more than being a somewhat nerdy scientific debate, the controversy around RCP-8.5 actually points to some fundamental disagreements about the communication of climate futures. Continue reading RCP-8.5: Business-As-Usual or Unrealistic Worst-Case? The contested interpretation of climate change scenarios
The Australian 2022 Election: moving in the right direction?
“It’s going to get worse before it gets worse”, summarised Liberal Party pollster Tony Barry on election night. And while the intricacies of the Australian preferential election system still keep the official final outcome open, the devastating defeat of the centre-right alliance, the “Coalition” of the Liberal and National Parties, was already certain.
Continue reading The Australian 2022 Election: moving in the right direction?
Why Don’t We Act Now? The discrepancy between climate change awareness and action
By Marina Falke
The 6th IPCC Report of Working Group 3 was published just about two months ago, on April 4, and stated once more and in further detail the urgency to mitigate climate change. As known, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) consists of politicians and scientist of the United Nation, grouped in three working groups focusing on different aspects of climate change. The third working group specializes in climate change mitigation and presents sources of global emissions as well as developments in emission reduction and mitigation efforts. Despite the great importance of the report’s findings, neither sufficient media coverage nor meaningful political reaction have yet materialized. Why is the gap between climate change’s urgency and action on it still so wide? Continue reading Why Don’t We Act Now? The discrepancy between climate change awareness and action