The Battle to Communicate Climate Change: Lessons from The Front Lines

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Added by July 6, 2013

AGU Chapman Conference on Communicating Climate Science: A Historic Look to the Future
08 June 2013 — 13 June 2013, Granby, CO, USA

Presenter: Michael Mann
Sunday, June 9, 2013, 10:25 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.
Session: Perspectives on Communication of the Climate Science II
Abstract Title: The Battle to Communicate Climate Change: Lessons from The Front Lines

I will discuss the continuing challenges and potential pitfalls climate scientists confront in efforts to communicate the science of climate change, its likely impacts, and solutions. Scientists, first of all, must contend with a well-funded and organized disinformation effort that aims to confuse the public about the nature of our scientific understanding and attack the science and the scientists themselves. In the face of these attacks, we must strive to communicate the science and its implications in plainspoken language that neither (a) insults the intelligence of our audience, (b) loses them in jargon and science-speak, nor (c) misrepresents the current state of our scientific understanding, including the uncertainties that remain. I will share insights that I have accumulated in my own communications and outreach efforts.

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