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March 03 2015

Scientific Consensus on Climate Change as a Gateway Belief

We are pleased to announce a newly published article: "The Scientific Consensus on Climate Change as a Gateway Belief: Experimental Evidence" by Sander van der Linden, Anthony Leiserowitz, Geoffrey Feinberg and Edward Maibach in the journal PLoS ONE.

Our prior survey research has found that only one in ten Americans (9%) correctly understands that there is a scientific consensus about human-caused climate change – i.e., that nearly all climate scientists are convinced that human-caused climate change is happening. Our new article reports the results of an experiment that investigated how people respond when informed about the scientific consensus. 

Our results provide strong evidence for a gateway belief model. On average, being exposed to a “consensus-message” increased study participants’ perceptions of the scientific consensus by 12.8%, and up to as much as 20% in some conditions (compared to a control group). Moreover, this substantial change in the perceived level of scientific consensus caused a positive shift in participants’ belief that climate change is happening, human-caused and a worrisome threat. Changes in these beliefs, in turn, increased support for public action. Importantly, we found these effects for both Democrats and Republicans. 

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Topics: Attitudes & Beliefs Risk Communication Trust Format Articles Topics Beliefs & Attitudes Messaging
July 23 2014

How to communicate the scientific consensus on climate change

How to communicate the scientific consensus on climate change

We are pleased to announce a newly published article: "How to Communicate the Scientific Consensus on Climate Change: Plain Facts, Pie Charts or Metaphors?" by Sander van der Linden, Anthony Leiserowitz, Geoffrey Feinberg and Edward W. Maibach in the journal Climatic Change. The article is available for download here.

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Topics: Messaging Attitudes & Beliefs Knowledge / Climate Literacy Risk Communication Format Articles Tags Knowledge Risk Topics Beliefs & Attitudes Messaging
April 09 2014

New Commentary Urges Climate Scientists to “Set the Record Straight”

New Commentary Urges Climate Scientists to “Set the Record Straight”

We just published a commentary in Earth’s Future, a new online, open-access journal published by the American Geophysical Union.  The commentary is entitled: “Climate Scientists Need to Set the Record Straight: There is a scientific consensus that human-caused climate change is happening.”

In the commentary, we argue that the climate science community needs to do more to communicate the scientific consensus because: (a) most Americans don’t know there is a scientific consensus on this point; (b) this lack of awareness undermines people’s engagement in the issue; and (c) research by our team – and others – has shown that simple messages that communicate this basic scientific conclusion are highly effective, especially with political conservatives.

We encourage you to download the commentary and join the effort to set the record straight.

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Topics: Knowledge / Climate Literacy Risk Communication Format Articles Tags Knowledge Risk Topics Messaging
January 11 2014

Anthony Leiserowitz on MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry Show

On Saturday, January 11th, 2013, YPCCC Director Anthony Leiserowitz spent the morning discussing, among other things, the parallels between climate change and the smoking debate on MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry Show.  Watch the conversation below.

Segment 1:

 
Segment 2:
 

 

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Topics: Attitudes & Beliefs Citizen Behavior Health Knowledge / Climate Literacy Media Outreach Projects Politics / Elections Risk Communication Risk Perceptions Blog Post Projects Outreach Tags Health Knowledge Risk Topics Behaviors & Actions Beliefs & Attitudes Politics & Policy Support
November 15 2013

American perceptions of hydraulic fracturing

American perceptions of hydraulic fracturing

We co-authored an original article using our research on public opinion about fracking, published in the journal Energy Policy.

Highlights:

  • We conducted a survey of Americans' views on hydraulic fracturing in September 2012
  • A majority of Americans have heard little or nothing about hydraulic fracturing.
  • Many Americans do not know if they support/oppose it or are undecided.
  • Those who have made a decision are evenly split between support and opposition.
  • Predictors of support include education, media use and top of mind associations.

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Topics: Attitudes & Beliefs Energy Use / Conservation Risk Communication Risk Perceptions Format Articles Tags Energy Risk Surveys Topics Beliefs & Attitudes
August 20 2013

How Americans Communicate About Global Warming April 2013

How Americans Communicate About Global Warming April 2013

Highlights:

One in four Americans (24%) would support an organizaton that engaged in non-violent civil disobedience against corporate or government activities that make global warming worse.

One in eight (13%) say they would be willing to personally engage in non-violent civil disobedience for the same reason.

In the past year, Americans were more likely to discuss global warming with family and friends than to communicate about it using social media (33% versus 7%).  

Americans are most likely to identify their own friends and family, such as a significant other (27%), son or daughter (21%), or close friend (17%), as the people who could motivate them to take action to reduce global warming.

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Topics: Attitudes & Beliefs Citizen Behavior Consumer Behavior Media Risk Communication Six Americas Format Reports Projects Climate Change in the American Mind Tags Media Studies Risk Six Americas Surveys Topics Audiences Behaviors & Actions Beliefs & Attitudes
August 02 2012

What Comes to Mind When You Think of the Term “Global Warming?”

In the past decade, the images and feelings Americans associate with the term “global warming” have shifted dramatically.  We recently published an article in the journal Risk Analysis that identifies and analyzes these shifts in the connotative meaning of “global warming.”

The graph below summarizes how Americans’ associations to “global warming” changed from 2003 to 2010 (more data can be found in the paper).

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Topics: Attitudes & Beliefs Emotion / Affect / Imagery Risk Communication Risk Perceptions Format Climate Notes Tags Emotion Risk Topics Beliefs & Attitudes Messaging
August 01 2012

A public health frame arouses hopeful emotions about climate change

Communication researchers and practitioners have suggested that framing climate change in terms of public health and/or national security may make climate change more personally relevant and emotionally engaging to segments of the public who are...

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Topics: Attitudes & Beliefs Emotion / Affect / Imagery Health Risk Communication Six Americas Format Articles Tags Emotion Health Risk Six Americas Topics Audiences Beliefs & Attitudes Messaging
April 01 2012

Weather, Climate, and (Especially) Society

The social sciences—from psychology to sociology, from economics to geography, from anthropology to political science—are now essential to meeting the climate challenge. This in no way discounts the critical value of the natural sciences in their continued...

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Topics: Attitudes & Beliefs Risk Communication Format Articles Tags Risk Topics Beliefs & Attitudes
December 11 2011

Do Americans support an international treaty on climate change?

On December 11 at the Durban (South Africa) Conference on Climate Change, the world agreed  to extend the Kyoto Protocol and begin negotiations on a new global treaty that will require all countries (developed and developing) to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. In a national survey completed in November 2011, we found that a large majority of Americans (66%) support signing an international treaty requiring the US to cut emissions 90% by 2050.

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Topics: Attitudes & Beliefs Health Knowledge / Climate Literacy Media Risk Communication Risk Perceptions Format Climate Notes Projects Climate Change in the American Mind Tags Health Knowledge Risk Topics Beliefs & Attitudes
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