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.
A new study by Samset et al. (2020) in Nature Communcations finds that even under strong and sustained mitigation efforts, it will take the climate system until mid-century to demonstrate a discernible cooling response. Unfortunately, we must accept and live with the frustrating fact that the global climate system is a rather gigantic tanker ship that will change its course only several decades after humanity has decided to pull the emissions steering wheel into another direction. Yet, we should also think about what may motivate immediate action to reduce the risk of climate collapse in the far future. Rather than only fixating on the nebulous, future benefits of present-day climate protection, I would suggest that communicators should focus on highlighting positive short-term side effects of climate protection measures.
Blue like the ocean. This saying could be overrun already by the end of this century. Our grandchildren might not see the oceans as we see them now. Scientists predict that the world’s largest waters will turn rather green due to climate change.
The paper “Echo Chambers of Denial: Explaining User Comments on Climate Change” was published in Environmental Communication. The study identifies factors that foster comments that are sceptical or supportive of basic assumptions of anthropogenic climate change, drawing on online news in the US, the UK, Germany, India, and Switzerland. The results show that users adapt to the dominant opinion within the respective media outlet: user comment sections serve as echo chambers rather than as corrective mechanisms. Climate change denial is more visible in user comment sections in countries where the climate change debate reflects the scientific consensus on climate change and user comments create niches of denial.
In einem aktuellen Artikel interpretiert Hanno Charisius von der Süddeutschen Zeitung die Ergebnisse des Wissenschaftsbarometers 2016 als ein „Alarmsignal für die aufgeklärte Gesellschaft“ angesichts eines starken Misstrauens gegenüber der Wissenschaft, insbesondere der Klimawissenschaft. Ein genauerer Blick auf die Originaldaten offenbart allerdings, dass diese Schlussfolgerungen kaum gerechtfertigt sind. Zudem zeigen Daten unserer eigenen aktuellen Befragung zum Thema Klimapolitik, dass die Klimawissenschaftler im Gegensatz zu Politikern und Journalisten noch auf ein stabiles Vertrauen seitens der Bevölkerung bauen dürfen.
How do German citizens perceive climate change? What do they know about climate politics? And how do they evaluate national and international efforts against climate change?
Within the framework of our “Down to Earth” study, we aimed to answer these and further questions with an online survey with more than 2000 persons, conducted in Germany two weeks before this year’s climate conference in Paris.
As the climate negotiations in Paris near their final rounds, some might be surprised by rather contradictory developments, which relate to the much discussed 2 degree threshold.
This limit aims to keep warming within 2°C of the pre-industrial average.While the emissions reduction pledges put forward by the countries ahead of COP 21 in Paris were not sufficiently ambitious to keep within this limit, in the final phase of the negotiations many countries wish for an even lower limit: below 1.5 degrees.
The day after the Paris attacks, a state of emergency was declared in France.
As a result, civil liberties were restrained and exceptional police powers were dedicated to regulating the movement and residence of the public. The state of emergency was promulgated by the French Assembly for a period of three months beginning on November 26, 2015. Demonstrations planned in Paris for COP21, such as the November 29 climate march, were banned. In this constrained context, what demonstrations by civil society related to COP21 were covered by media?