Recently I chatted to my neighbor and we happened to stumble upon the topic of climate change. He told me: “I don’t think the earth is really heating up, big changes don’t happen so fast. This so-called warming effect is physically not plausible, even many scientists say so – I learnt about that when I followed the climate conference on YouTube.” I was surprised about many aspects of this statement Continue reading How misinformation persuaded my neighbor, and why I chose not to “educate” him
In an article for the German journal “Media Perspektiven”, we analysed our survey data from 2015 and 2018, focusing on media use and evaluation of the coverage related to the topic of climate change and climate politics. The article is available here (open access, German only).
In einem Artikel für die Fachzeitschrift “Media Perspektiven” haben wir unsere Befragungsdaten aus 2015 und 2018 im Hinblick auf die Nutzung und Bewertung klimapolitischer Medieninhalte ausgewertet. Der Artikel ist hier online zugänglich.
“The Conference of the Parties, Recalling the Paris Agreement, adopted under the Convention, Also recalling decisions 1/CP.21, 1/CP.22, 1/CP.23, 1/CMA.1 and 3/CMA.1, Further recalling decisions 6/CP.1, 6/CP.2, 25/CP.7, 5/..." 
This is how ‘good’ stories start these days… if we consider ‘good’ to be the mere existence of a final document. In this light, on December 15th 2018, the 196 member states (parties) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), following negotiations at the 24. Conference of the Parties (COP24) in Katowice, Poland, agreed on a compromise. Prior to the meeting, some – including UN Climate Change Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa – held high expectations of the conference becoming a “Paris 2.0” , others (e.g. evironmental NGOs like) – thinking of ever-rising carbon emissions, omnipresent coal mining and the USA’s withdrawal from the international treaty – saw themselves forced to keep their feet on the ground . But what was finally agreed on?
During the first week of the recent COP 24 in Katowice/Poland, we reran our survey from 2015 and questioned a sample of German nationals about their climate change knowledge and attitudes. The German newspaper DIE ZEIT published an article about our first results – here is a summary for our English speaking readers: Continue reading First results of our new survey
by Joana Kollert
Efforts of the 24th Conference of the Parties (COP24) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) taking place in Katowice, Poland, between December 2nd and 14th are being overshadowed, quite literally, by a cloud of coal enveloping the conference center, which is located just 3 miles from the Wujek coal mine. Following a year of devastating climate catastrophes around the globe, and the highest global carbon dioxide levels in the past seven years, the main goal of COP24 is to finalize the implementation guidelines for the Paris Agreement concluded in 2015.
by Fenja De Silva-Schmidt
During this year’s climate conference in Katowice (Poland), we are going to rerun our Down to Earth quantitative survey from December 2015. By surveying another national German quota sample three years after our initial study, we want to examine long-term effects: Did the Germans’ knowledge or attitudes towards climate politics change in the meantime? How is the summit in Poland received via the media, especially in comparison to the “milestone” conference of Paris?
by Joana Kollert, Manuel Kreutle, and Michael Brüggemann
Recent weeks have not only brought about record-breaking temperatures, but also a rise in climate coverage, as clearly shown by our Online Media Monitor (OMM) on Climate Change Coverage around the world . But are higher-than-usual temperatures really the main trigger of climate change reporting? We had a closer look at the case of Germany: Continue reading Is German Climate Coverage driven by extreme temperatures? Partly.
The paper “From “Knowledge Brokers” to Opinion Makers: How Physical Presence Affected Scientists’ Twitter Use During the COP21 Climate Change Conference” was published in the International Journal of Communication. This study investigates the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference summit and examines scientists’ social media use by analyzing “digital traces” that scientists left on social media during the summit. Using geolocated tweets, we compare the Twitter use of scientists who attended the conference with those who did not. Combining automated, quantitative, and qualitative content analysis, the study shows how scientists participating in the conference provided live reporting and formed a transnational network. Scientists at the conference and elsewhere engaged in political advocacy, indicating a shift toward a new pattern of hybrid science communication, which includes characteristics that have formerly been attributed to journalism and advocacy.
The full paper is available online.
von Fenja De Silva-Schmidt
Auf der European Communication Conference in Prag haben wir erste Ergebnisse aus der Tagebuchstudie des Projekts “Down to Earth” präsentiert. Für den Vortrag wurden die Angaben zu den Gesprächen der 41 Teilnehmer über den Klimawandel analysiert, die sie im Zeitraum der Klimakonferenz in Paris 2015 geführt hatten.
Results from our Down to Earth study have been featured in an article about the communication of international climate conferences. Imke Hoppe was interviewed as a spokesperson of our team by editor Jan Wisniewski from the magazine “Communication Director” and talked about the public’s perception of the COP21.
Unfortunately, the article is not available for free, but the first two pages can be read in the online preview of the issue (Communication Director 3/2016, pp. 50-54).