Monday, September 26, 2011

'Climate Change' ... and 'Global Warming'? What Next in Climate Communication?

Right now it seems that in Washington D.C., at least, nobody wants to talk about 'climate change' and 'global warming'.

This post from the Yale Form on Climate Change & The Media asks if these are the new dirty words, and "if so...what then"?

Most of those interviewed for this Yale Forum discussion focus on the importance of communicating the economic and health benefits of clean energy technologies. For example, attorney Jim Marston of Environmental Defense states that:
"In the short-term, I think we're focusing more on heath and more on clean energy solutions -- things that get us off fossil fuels, things that get us more efficiency, things that take advantage of the fact that Americans are in love with gadgets coming out of the high-tech sector."
As I relayed in this post -- penned after a successful encounter with a couple of climate change deniers -- energy, economy, national security and patriotism can all be leveraged to offer identity-based arguments that enable bi-partisan consensus.  Why should we send billions of our energy dollars to foreign countries when we can produce our energy from the sun and wind right here in America, and support American companies and jobs?!

As far as I'm concerned, it's not HOW we get to solutions, it's THAT we get to solutions. That's fine, and to be expected.

However, after this spring and summer's record-setting tornados like the one that leveled Joplin, MO, the historic Mississippi River floods, the ongoing hellish Texas wildfires, and catastrophic Hurricane Irene, I'll bet that more people are wondering whether it might be a good idea to take steps to re-stabilize the climate for climate-focused reasons.

It seems more and more people are waking up to the fact that our climate is doing weird (and record-setting) things old timers don't remember it doing, and it's getting more and more dangerous every year.  As more people talk, social forces like peer influence will likely take hold, generating support for the climate change and clean energy solutions that would also be huge boons to our economic recovery and national security.

Let's see...

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