Climate Communication Call to Action
I recently co-authored a call to action on climate communication in the November 19, 2010 issue of Science Magazine. It is an urgent plea to governments, major scientific institutions, philanthropies and others to support and engage in a greatly enlarged and sustained global effort to communicate climate risks and potential solutions, so as to encourage and enable wise decision-making as the world confronts the immense challenge of climate change. We advocate that such an effort be strictly non-partisan, working to build bridges across expert communities to foster a civil, culturally relevant and scientifically informed discussion.
A growing number of efforts here in the United States are already pointing in this direction. For example, since 1998, the Aldo Leopold Leadership Program at Stanford University has provided excellent leadership and communications training for environmental researchers, helping many academic scientists learn to communicate effectively with non-scientific audiences. And for the last three years, Climate Central has been building a new kind of media organization: a team of scientists and journalists working together to shine a light on climate change by reporting on the science behind it and impacts and solutions in U.S communities. I am encouraged by these developments, and can only hope that they will serve as bright examples, and that these and complementary organizations grow vigorously across the globe and in fields ranging from media to education to museums.
We have much work to do in 2011 and beyond.