Importance of Natural Resources

(AV17691) Climate Shift: Clear Vision for the next Decade of Public Debate

well thank you for coming on behalf of
Iowa State University I’d like to welcome you to tonight’s presentation by
Matthew Nisbet on climate shift clear vision for the next decade of public
debate dr. Nesbitt’s presentation will discuss findings from a comprehensive
study of the resources strategies and activities of environmental groups of
climate change scientists and compare them to the same or different approaches
I should say by conservative groups in corporate associations he will challenge
us to think about our role as educators and scholars in this public debate now
speaking as a journalist and a science communicator I believe that media
understand that climate change is a fact but they mean that in a simple rather
than scientific way we in media know that change is constant it’s continual
our business tracks change in the social environment every minute of every day on
a microbe and personal level not on a macro and scientific level earlier this
month for instance Osama bin Laden was killed the world changed when al-qaeda
attacked the United States and 9/11 in 2001 the world changed
journalists document all manner of change in 2010 in Iowa a new legislature
was elected a devastating flood perhaps you know because of climate change
submerge several streets in towns assaults thefts murders happened in
dozens of neighborhoods and those neighborhoods changed those facts have
one thing in common that climate change does not outcomes are definitive and
culminate in an event an enemy combatant is killed in a Navy SEAL assault
airliners are hijacked and rammed into buildings or terrain in New York
Washington DC or Pennsylvania a Republican governor is elected in Iowa
and the GOP holds a majority in the Statehouse spring rains caused a flood
that destroyed thousands of buildings a neighborhood
watch is established after the slaying of a citizen a family establishes a
non-profit association to honor a slain loved one climate change occurs in a
much more complex system with multiple multiple variables requiring expert
analysis and interpretive data in other words journalists cannot figure it all
out themselves without relying on viewpoints strategies and activities
often of opposing groups the media are never comfortable in this position most
journalists lacks scientific training worse if political or philosophical
agendas support two camps of scientists as is the case in climate change even if
one camp outnumbers the other or even if one camp has a vested interest in
something or an outcome then the issue becomes Mercure from a journalism
perspective more often than not reporters throw up their hands and file
stories giving both sides equal treatment and coverage but this is not
how science is done even complex science facts must speak for themselves they
must present a logical narrative that narrative should foreshadow an ending or
outcome other scientists must verify those facts test that logic measure
those outcomes and if it all measures up to peer review they should be accepted
as truth and not degenerate into just another opinion in the blogosphere we in
education are citizens of peer-review our careers advance stall or even end by
those measures that’s why we must listen closely to what dr. Nesbitt will
disclose he is an author of more than 35 peer-reviewed journal articles and book
chapters and serves on the editorial boards of science communication and the
international journal of present politics his scholarship has been cited
more than 500 times in peer-reviewed literature and in more than 150 books
this year he was named a Google science communication fellow and recognition
recognition of his work on climate change he holds degrees for
Dartmouth College and Cornell University and is an associate professor at the
School of Communication at American University in Washington DC please
welcome Matthew Nesbitt I’m thrilled to be here tonight it’s an amazing turnout
for a Friday evening so forth so thank you for coming I’m very much looking
forward to your your questions and your comments at the end of my talk tonight
we’re in a very interesting place politically right now both on the issues
of climate change and energy with the failure of cap-and-trade legislation
last year major environmental groups and many science organizations and
politically active scientists or we are without a clear policy agenda I refer to
this long-standing coalition as the green network in a recent report about a
release several weeks ago and they’ll be talking about tonight the policy focus
for the most part remains on regulatory approaches there’s a belief that major
legislation similar to cap-and-trade is probably not possible to until at least
2013 so in the short term over the next couple years Democrats and environmental
organizations are focusing on clean energy and fuel efficiency standards
mostly defending the EPA’s ability to regulate greenhouse gas emissions and
also focusing on state regulation of greenhouse gas emissions similar to
those in California and also opposing the construction of new power plants
environmental groups and science organizations are also focusing heavily
and reinvesting in science communication there’s efforts among some environmental
leaders to argue for environmental groups that they need to broaden their
networks and alliances in places like the Midwest in Iowa there’s other groups
such as Bill McKibben’s have intensified their campaigns against
what they see is the major obstacles to action on climate change
Koch Industries the Koch brothers as philanthropist and the US Chamber of
Commerce and then other science organizations and groups are training
scientists to be more effective in Relations blogging and there’s even
Rapid Response Teams of climate scientists who have formed to serve as
Q&A service provided Q&A service to journalists and also wrap it respond to
misinformation out there in the media while the long-standing green green
network of groups continue to focus on climate change as the major issue an
emerging group of what I call the innovation network of groups have shift
focus from climate change to focus on energy and security and the need to
innovate in terms of energy technologies as the pathway forward and this focus is
captured in Obama’s State of the Union address from earliest year State of the
Union dress that he titled winning the future
it was very interested in the State of the Union dress because he used science
and innovation as the overarching frame to talk about a whole host of domestic
policy agenda issues and even some inner foreign policy issues he talked about
biomedical research information technology and especially investment in
clean energy technology as the principal pathway forward in terms of job creation
and the economy he even talked about national security infrastructure and
transportation United States continued international leadership even even
education was defined in terms of science education and science teachers
even when he talked about immigration he didn’t talk about general immigration
reform but rather connected immigration reform to science in terms of keeping
talented graduates students here in the United States and allowing more graduate
students to come here to study at universities and in terms of policy
agenda the innovation network is focusing on increasing research spending
at universities improving overall science education ending subsidies to
the fossil fuel industry and also tax breaks to oil companies using defense
spending the Defense Department procuring a procurement system to
catalyze energy technology innovation and to promote a broad range of energy
technologies nuclear natural gas wind solar carbon capture and biofuels well
as both of these networks move forward with their goals and these networks have
in many cases overlapping constituents and shared goals they tend to define the
role the public fairly narrowly Obama’s in the State of the Union address when
he talked about science education and the need for science education he talked
about the outcome as being creating the workers for tomorrow when environmental
groups and science organizations even talked about the role the public in
controversies over climate and energy they often talk about the public s
spectators to an elite battle the public is supposed to answer appropriately in
public opinion polls when asked what to do about climate change or what they
believe and there they’re supposed to call up Congress and voice their opinion
but otherwise the public has very little roller is called upon rarely to actively
play a role in terms of their input relative to what to do on climate change
in energy and tonight I’m going to argue that one of the things that we need to
do as educators as universities as environmental organizations and science
organizations we need to shift from defining the public exclusively as
workers or spectators to a political battle and start to invest in the public
s citizens as direct participants and there’s a number of reasons why we need
to think about investing directly in facilitating direct public participation
in decision-making about climate and energy and one of those is that from a
normative standpoint these decisions are too important to leave to elected
officials experts industry and interest groups alone questions related to
climate change in energy apply directly to questions of equity fairness and
justice and citizens a wider scope of citizens deserve to have a voice in the
decisions we also know from research that participation promotes innovation
through idea creation the formation of networks increased trust among
participants greater feelings of efficacy that they have a say in
decision making and this is very important because experts and decision
makers don’t have all the answers in understanding how to make communities
more resilient to the impacts of climate change or how to develop energy
technologies at a regional level they’ll need direct input from a
diversity stakeholders and the public in order to make scalable and tailored
solutions to states such as Iowa and regions across the country we also know
from research that direct participation is one of the best ways for the public
to learn not just about the technical side of science but other
forms of learning in terms of ethics in political dimensions it’s also important
in terms of skill acquisition among participants training the next
generation of leaders in elevating overall the scope of participation on
science and environmental issues and then finally direct public public
participation is very important because it tends to increase accountability
transparency and lead to institutional change not only with among government
players but also among the NGO sector the many long-standing organizations
that have worked on climate and energy over time but as I’ll talk about tonight
there are just really two central barriers to widening or several central
barriers to widening public participation some of those barriers are
structural as I’ll talk about other those other barriers are political and
then other barriers are individual and motivational how motivated is the public
how relevant do they see questions related to climate and energy how many
members of the public are willing to come out on a Friday evening to hear and
discuss and debate what to do about climate energy as you are here tonight
and that’s what I’m going to be focusing on what are those barriers and then what
are some strategies for overcoming those barriers that will be my focus for this
evening well one of the barriers that we tend to assume is on climate change is
that the media the mainstream media continues to engage in widespread false
balance on the fundamentals of climate science is climate change real and is it
human caused and the report that are released several weeks ago that you can
find at climate shift I took a look at how the media covered the
fundamentals of climate science in the years 2009 in 2010 and before I have you
start looking at that graph let me give you a little bit of background one of
the most heavily cited papers and studies on the on the appearance of
false balance and climate change was done by max boy cough and his brother
Jules boy cough and appeared in 2004 and what they looked at in five national
news organizations five transcending national newspapers it’s the degree that
these newspapers up through 2002 reflected the consensus view on the
reality and causes of climate change a falsely balanced view balancing the
consensus view with the skeptical view or a dismissive view ask up
view on the fundamentals of climate science and what they found is coverage
through 2002 more than 50% of articles were falsely balanced this paper is
famous now because it’s cited in Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth
Al Gore opposes the the difference between where the peer-reviewed
literature is on climate change to the findings of the boy cough and boy cough
paper and it’s paper is often now ritually cited as evidence of false
balance even today what’s interesting is that max then followed up with that
paper with a study that appeared in 2007 that looked at the same newspapers
through 2006 and what he found was that by 2006 false balance on the
fundamentals of climate science had virtually disappeared from news coverage
to the point by night 2006 I believe it was 96 percent of coverage reflected the
consensus view yet as a structural barrier to participation we we still
tend to presume that the mainstream media engages in false balance if you go
to scientific meetings if you read blogs you’ll hear the false balance claim made
over and over again so in in my own research I decided to replicate Max’s
methodology and look at where coverage was in 2009 and 2010 at five leading
news organizations The Washington Post The New York Times The Wall Street
Journal Politico in and this is the findings grouped across
three three-month periods and in the red bar reflects the consensus view on
climate change in the middle bar there you see this is the percentage of
articles that were falsely balanced and in the bottom bar that’s the percentage
of articles that reflect the dismissive or skeptical view of climate change and
as you can see across the period of time on average in no period of time to fewer
than seven out of ten articles reflect the consensus view on climate change and
you can see that around the time that the Copenhagen meetings were taking
place on the international agreement on climate change and also the Climategate
event broke this is where you see a higher proportion of falsely balanced
articles appearing but as I talked about in the report most of that false balance
appears at the opinion pages of the Wall Street Journal that the Washington Post
in The New York Times on average 9 out of 10 articles across the two-year
period reflect the consensus view and least seven out of ten articles at
Politico across the two year period reflect the consensus you so only at the
opinion pages does this trend still hold up in terms of engaging in false balance
and that’s reflective of news corporation owned media on in general
such as Fox News where you see in this conservative sector of the media you
still see a lot of dismissive and falsely balanced coverage this is
looking at trends and patterns of attention to climate change over time at
these five news organizations between 2009 and the end of 2010 and this is
consistent with the history of coverage of climate change over time that climate
change will peak in attention around a major political moment like the Kyoto
meetings in 1997 and here you can see that leading up to the Copenhagen
meetings in December 2009 there was a major spent spike in attention and then
afterwards there was a major downturn in attention to climate change but what’s
interesting is I look at the proportion of articles that look that focused on
the Climategate event the stolen emails from the East Anglia University Center
on climate change that was much debate in the blogosphere in the conservative
media but in the mainstream media among these five news organizations attention
to clonic 8 only really occurred in December of 2009 and then subsequent
attention was mainly confined to the Wall Street Journal the other mainstream
news organizations did not follow up with their coverage so if the media
presents a structural barrier to public participation on the issue it’s not
necessarily content-based relative to the fundamentals of climate science one
of the structural barriers is not content but rather attention even in the
mainstream media it’s very difficult to sustain on a daily or weekly basis
attention to climate change as a problem and without that sustained attention as
we know across a lot of different public policy issues it’s very difficult to
keep the issue on the public agenda this problem with a lack of sustained
attention is an even even greater at the regional or local level in a place like
Iowa and other regions of the country where the local newspapers and news
organizations no longer have the capacity it may never have even ever had
the capacity to adequately address the local relevance of climate
energy to a region like Iowa and I’ll come back to some solutions for
bolstering the capacity of local media to address this issue
another structure a structural barrier to water public participation is simply
the problem of the economy social psychologists like to talk about our
limited pool of worry that faced with a number of different issues we can only
focus on a few risks or a few issues at a given amount of time and over the last
few years as you know the economy has been the overwhelming risk posed to the
to the public and this is often presented in terms of in terms of
unemployment so when we look at trends and belief in a and concern over climate
change over time we often talk about 2006 and 2007 as the peak years for
public concern and belief and climate change and certainly here in the in the
line bar here it’s perception that the environment is a top priority and then
the light blue bar is the perception that global warming is a top priority
one of the things that has has challenged scientists and many
environmentalists to understand over the last few years is what accounts for the
downturn in public attention and concern in 2006 and 2007 the expectation was
that we had reached a tipping point for public concern and attention to climate
change and we’re only going to go up from there but what’s interesting is
that what’s often overlooked is 2006 and 2007 were the lowest years over the last
decade for unemployment over the last decade so unemployment in 2006 and 2007
was at 5.5 percent since 2006 and 2007 as you know unemployment has gone up to
close to 10% and remains at about 9.5 so the economy is one of the the strongest
reasons why public concern has decreased over the last couple years on climate
change apart from other reasons that we’ll talk about later when the other
political barriers to water public participation is the intense
polarization that has occurred on the issue and polarization is a two-way
street Republicans and conservatives are deservedly blamed for their efforts to
downplay the importance of climate change and to attack Democratic leaders
like Al Gore who have tried to take a leadership position on this issue but
you also have to also the communication strategies of
Democratic leaders like Gore if you look at Gore’s communication strategy after
he merged after losing the election in 2000 when he first started talking about
climate check climate change and giving public speeches it was an events with where he connected the issue of climate
change to a wider criticism of the Bush administration relevant issues like the
Iraq war those who have seen Inconvenient Truth know that incan truth
does a very effective job of communicating about the science of
climate change but it’s also very much a Gore’s own personal story and narrative
and he’s front and centered the major part of that movie if you lack a
favorable opinion courts unlikely you would go and see that movie so here in
this graph what I look at is in order to stand public perceptions of climate
change in polarization on the issue of the last 10 years you can’t separate the
issue from the two most prominent political figures bush and gore and in
2006 and 2007 when public concern with climate change was greatest it was a
unique time in our America recent American history when the country had
moved very much left-of-center we had luck Tudela Kratz and Nancy Pelosi to
Congress and at the time when Gore was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize with IPCC
scientists his public approval ratings were an all-time high Time magazine ran
a cover story The Last Temptation of Al Gore would he run for president or not
before we turn to Barack Obama the focus was on Gore as her next Democratic
presidential candidate at that same period of time this was the low ebb
historically for public approval for Bush
but today in 2010 when approval was asked of both political figures most
recently both of them stood at about the same level 45 percent of the public had
a favorable opinion of either bush or Gore and in 2010 that level was
essentially where Sarah Palin was at the time so more than half the country has
an unfavorable of opinion of the politically or whose most widely
associated with both the climate science but both climate science and climate
policy and you can’t overlook that factor in terms of polarization on the
issue and now the public might receive and come come to understand and make
decisions about it one of the other structural barriers is is the major
elite battle that has happened on climate change over the last ten
years much of this elite battle as I talked about in the report has taken
place among traditional national environmental groups who’ve made climate
change of the last five years their lead policy priority and cap-and-trade their
lead policy outcome in the long-standing coalition of groups conservative
think-tanks advocacy groups in industry associations such as the American
Petroleum Institute in the Chamber of Commerce who have posed action on
climate change in downplayed the consensus view on the issue if you look
at these two groups the long-standing narrative from environmentalists is that
this has been a David versus Goliath type net scenario and they’ve often
talked about the vast amount of resources that the other side has had as
the major barrier to action one of the things I try to do in the report is try
to get a sense of where these resources might actually stand so I looked at 45
national environmental groups and 42 industry associations and conservative
groups and looked at their annual reports and IRS data from 2009 and what
I find is that the environmental groups bring in about 1.7 billion dollars a
year in revenue and as this green bar shows spend about 1.4 billion dollars on
all program activities the conservative think tanks and industry associations
they bring in a little more than 800 million in revenue and as the gray bar
show spend about seven hundred eighty seven million in all program activities
when I looked at and tried to estimate spending on climate and energy
activities the environmental groups given more resources more spending and a
higher priority for the issue they spend about three hundred ninety four million
on program activity specific to climate and energy and the conservative think
tanks and industry associations spend about 259 million so this is really to
goliaths going at each other in an elite struggle over over American politics a
struggle that I would argue has had many polarizing impacts in terms of public
opinion but rarely as as others have written have the environmental groups
turned to the public for direct participation they’ve been critiqued by
many who have studied the movement as being top-down hierarchical
organizations who only until recently have really thought about investing in
public participation and input in areas like the Midwest and I would argue
that’s cost them over time despite the vast sums of money
that they’ve spent in trying to pass for example a cap-and-trade bill
well the other things I look at the report is it’s the major foundations who
have invested in in activities related to climate change in energy and the
model of social change that they’ve pursued their model has been very
relatively simplistic and linear in terms of how they think that social
change happens for the most part coming together in a
in a in a 50-page plan in 2007 called the design to win plan they interviewed
150 experts on what to do about climate change and what they got back reflected
the experts they chose to interview the report that they produce reflects
strongly that social change happens through science and economics the the
central policy priority was reaching a cap-and-trade like agreement and the
assumption was that if you put a price on carbon a wave would wash across the
economy as as the report talked about and that’s how social change would
happen that energy technologies would be adopted one of the assumptions was we
had all the technologies we needed to address this issue as of 2007 if you
look at their model of communication as how you achieve this goal in terms of
massive change moving from dirty energy to clean energy it was really a linear
what people familiar with science communication a deficit model where you
have public and media education voters and consumers leading to education
decision-makers that meet the new policy then that lead to social change so one
of the things I do in the report is I look at based on these 9 major
foundations that fund program activities related to the environment
I took their public records for four grants and I categorized their grants by
policy action by and by communication activity and what’s interesting is that
they followed their plan very closely their strategic plan reflected about 40
million dollars associated with program activities or grants related to leading
to an emission cap on emissions or credits offsets and transfers and about
in a similar 30 million dollars on trying to achieve an international
agreement but in their strategic plan there was almost no mention of the human
dimensions of the issue there was almost no mention of things like public health
the need for adaptation the need for economic
growth and community development or in terms of job creation or the role of
government since the assumption was we have all the technologies that we need
what is the role of government in investing in research and Technology R&D
at places like universities to create new energy technologies for to to
confront this problem so as I looked at the more than 360 million dollars that
they distributed in grants across fourteen hundred more than forty nine
degrees only nine million dollars was associated with job creation only three
million with promoting economic growth only 1.9 million with protecting public
health and only 1.2 million in terms of government role in innovation and R&D
and only 450,000 invested in justice and equity program activities related to
justice net actually only three total grants in that area when you look at
what they invested in in terms of communication activities there was heavy
investment in grants related to public communication and public education
especially related to policy makers so our 43 million dollars associated with
grants related to engaging policymakers and decision makers yeah there was only
it’s it’s unclear what informed their engagement strategies because only 1.7
million dollars was invested in audience research or or stake stakeholder
research and also they overlooked the important role the media as part of the
infrastructure in terms of need relative to the social change with only about 1.7
million invested directly in media initiatives such as documentary films or
media organizations not-for-profit media organizations that I’ll talk about in a
little bit one of the other barriers to change in to investing in public
participation is simply the outlook of our own community the community of
people who are concerned about climate change tends to be heavily one sided in
our own political outlook one of the ways that I look at this and the report
is I look at a represented sample of members the American Association for the
Advancement of science and I compare their ideological and their partisan
outlook to ten other major social groups so in the bottom of bottom left-hand
corner here I took the the plurality category in
terms of partisanship Democrat versus Republican a Republican on the top
to scale democrat on the scale wait here these are often the groups that a
political community trying to engage here’s the general public so one of the
things that we have to understand and trying to engage and try to facilitate
public participation as a community of people concerned about the issue and
also working at universities and science organizations and elsewhere we often
view the world politically very different from from the people that
we’re trying to engage our political views also color how we make sense of
the complexity of climate change politics why is it that we tend to
attribute inaction almost exclusivity of things like false balance in the media
or or the presumed vast spending advantages of our opponents or the work
of Fox News and conservatives and overlooked things such as the role of
the economy or the polarizing qualities of admired political leaders like Al
Gore in part it’s because we we live and we work within a fairly one-sided
community of people when it comes to political views and this is something
that needs to be addressed as we’re trying to train scientists and we’re
trying to invest in public participation activities okay so those are some of the
structural and political barriers to action in terms of getting people to
turn out to public participation opportunities and events and and
communicating why climate change or energy might be relevant to them one of
the key the key factors is how is the issue presented how is the issue frame
some of you are probably familiar with the research on family have heard at
least something about it the research in the social sciences on framing goes back
several decades and in part by work by Kahneman and Tversky who won the Nobel
Prize in Economics for the research on decision making under uncertainty and
their experiments when their key conclusions is that perception is
reference dependent context dependent if I present it to you and ambiguous
stimulus like this on the screen you may not know what to make of it it might
appear as various things to those of you in in the audience but if I set the
context for perception for the ambiguous stimulus as two letters in a and a see
what once looked unclear to you is now very clear to you as a B as a letter if
I change the context for perception for that for that figure from two letters to
two numbers of twelve and a 14 what once looked to you like a B is now very
clearly a 13 you can think about climate change or you can think about the
problem of energy and security as the ultimate ambiguous stimulus for the
public just like for scientists or those of us working on the issue of climate
change climate change politics is incredibly complex and ambiguous for the
public climate science its impacts and what should be done is just as ambiguous
and just as complex in order to make sense of that complexity we rather
readily look for reference points we grab a hold of context frames of
reference it could be a personal experience it could be something that
someone tells us a trusted information source but often it’s the context that’s
set for us the frame that set further us through our preferred sources in the
media or trusted opinion leaders on either side of the issue from Al Gore to
George W Bush the dominant frame on climate change from the environmental
community many scientists and also as feature in Al Gore’s in Kenya truth is
what I call a Pandora’s box frame this idea that climate change is a looming
environmental catastrophe if we recall Inconvenient Truth when the trailer came
out to the incan truth you can just google this on Google on Google on
YouTube and find it I showed to my students often the trailer talked about
Inconvenient Truth as being the scariest movie you’ll ever see and the trailer
featured heavily things like hurricane impacts visuals of familiar cities
submerged underwater the threat to the polar bear as a
symbolic species and the poster when the movie was released the media echoed this
frame of reference Time magazine now as many people have
pointed to led with a tagline this is a great example of a frame device
immediately translating this this catastrophe map message be worried very
worried and again the symbol of the issue is the threat to an animal species
the polar bear but imagine for example that so many members of the public and
many of those that are already concerned about climate change for this frame of
reference it’s inherently motivating it took people already concerned about the
issue or might identify with Al Gore or in terms of liberal or democratic
identity and intensified their commitment to the issue but for many
members of the public who didn’t have strong environmental values were
concerned about other issues or might not identify as a democrat or have an
unfavorable opinion of gore this message was probably not maota vaiting in fact
it might actually have turned them off to the issue but consider for example if
you want to widen personal relevance on the issue if you shift the frame of
reference from in catastrophic a catastrophic environmental impacts and
start to focus on health impacts especially chronic health problems that
people experience in everyday life and are already familiar with things like
childhood asthma allergies vulnerability to extreme heat what you start to do is
not only you connecting climate change to a tangible thing that people
experience on a chronic basis but you’re shifting the geographic location of the
impacts from remote polar regions or somewhere out there in the environment
to localized setting the suburbs the cities and in some cases to rural places
and you’re shifting the face of the impacts from animal species the human
species and also particularly to minority segments of the public who are
among the most vulnerable to these health impacts but you have to be very
careful in doing this this is one of the challenges in communicating about this
because it’s Discover Magazine did several months ago when they started to
write a very good feature article about the health risks of climate change in
order to dramatize their cover story they talked about the coming play and
the and the image was a mosquito so what we know from
research and health communication around fear appeals just like incoming in truth
used a fear appeal to try to motivate us in this case the Discover Magazine was
using a fear appeal around the health impacts what we know when people are
confronted with a fear appeal and they’re not giving anything they can do
about that fear appeal they tend to either reject it or it translates into
fatalism they say well you know I I have a high risk of cancer but there’s
nothing I can do about it so I’m not going to change my habits or I know
there’s health impacts for climate change-related infectious disease but oh
well there’s not much we can do about it as as a community so getting that
balance right is very is very important so in my research with Ed may Bach was a
professor at George Mason University we’ve been using audience segmentation
techniques from public health studies in the past on issues like obesity and Ed
in is in his collaborator Tony Lucero it’s of pioneers that this methodology
through what they call their global warming six Americas surveys what they
do in these surveys in these nationally represented surveys that they asked
people about forty questions related to their climate change attitudes beliefs
behavior and areas of knowledge and based on their answers to those
questions they statistically segment those that represented sample into 6
distinct audience categories ranging from the very alarmed on the issue to
the very dismissive and this shows the results of this categorization across
represented samples from 2008 through June 2010 what’s interesting about this
distribution is that when we talk about Public Communication we talk about who’s
participating when we talk about motivation and who we should try to
engage with in terms of communication we tend to focus on the tail ends of
perspectives on this issue it’s either communicating to people who
already alarmed about the problem like An Inconvenient Truth which reached
people already concerned about the issue or trying to convince those people who
are strongly dismissive strongly skeptical how do we convince deniers to
accept the science of climate change we also also tend to overestimate way
overestimate the proportion of the public who are strongly dismissive of
the issue what this audience segmentation shows is that in fact in
between these two poles you have roughly about 75 percent of the public who are
relatively in bivolo about the issue they’ve heard different things they
might be concerned about the issue but it’s not top
mind they’re not participating on it or they might be relatively disengaged
they’ve never even thought about the issue before being called up on the
phone in fact this segment that disengaged
this segment is predominantly low income low educated minority segments of the
public who also happened to be the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate
change in fact this might be the public that’s most important in terms of
facilitating public participation and engagement to prepare them for the
health impacts related to climate change so in our research what we’ve been
looking for is what are ways to convey that communicate about climate change
that translates its personal connections to those people in the middle we started
with a study back in 2009 where we went to the National Mall in Washington DC
and as people walk by they’re asked to answer if they would participate in a 15
item questionnaire about climate change and based on their question their
answers those 15 items they were their answers were entered into a computer and
they’re reliably and validly placed into one of those six audience segments that
I showed you if these individuals that were walking by were within one of the
audience segments we were still looking for they were asked to come around the
corner to the sculpture garden to Hirshhorn Museum and sit in the shade
and they’re paid $50 to be interviewed an open-ended way for an hour about
their attitudes beliefs and policy preferences on climate change and at the
end of that interview then they were presented a one-page essay where in that
one-page essay their perception about climate change was reset around the
context for health so in the opening to this essay it talks about climate change
as a threat to public health and the and the specific risks the public health
from climate change and at the end the essay is
about our community level actions that not only our mitigation actions but have
benefits Co benefits to public health and as they right across the SA they’re
asked to mark anything in the essay in green that they found especially useful
or compelling and anything in red that they found especially confusing and at
the end of the essay they’re also asked to provide open-ended comments about
what they thought their open-ended comments that we then coded as either
positive negative or neutral and what you see is that the among those audience
segments who are already alarmed are concerned about the issue they had a
strongly positive reaction but even the middle segments who are relatively
disengaged on average they’re at least neutral or in the positive direction of
the segment what we also then did is we took the average number of times that
each sentence was marked in green and subtracted from them the average number
of times it was marked in red and then for each sentence then we were able to
plot how the evaluated these sentences across the essay and for those that are
in the alarm cautious and concerned category but more interesting is that
among the disengage that dismissive in the doubtful you can see that but when specific actions are paired
with their benefits to public health the reactions go way up what those
proposals were so overall at the opening of the set of the of the essay when the
frame was set around public health as being a value all six audience segments
across the scale agreed with that statement and then all six audience
segments agreed with the following mitigation related actions that have
public health benefit co-benefits had a positive reaction so cleaner energy
sources and more efficient energy use lead to healthier air to breathe all six
audience segments agreed with that statement improving the design of our
cities and towns for walking biking and mass transit will reduce cars and help
people be more active and lose weight all six audience segments had a positive
reaction to that proposal taking actions to limit global warming by making our
energy sources cleaner our cars and appliances more efficient by making our
cities and towns friendly to trains buses bikers and walkers and by
improving the quality safety or food will improve the health of almost every
American all six audience segments could have
reacted positively to that statement that mitigate mitigation related actions
paired with public health benefits but of relevance to Iowa
all six America’s segments reacted very negatively to any proposed changes in
their diet and food choices especially to the idea of increasing our
consumptions of fruits and vegetables and decreasing our intake of meat
especially beef will help people keep a healthy weight will help prevent heart
disease and cancer will play an important role in limiting global
warming all six audience segments whether you’re alarmed about climate
change or dismissive reactive negly to that statement
and what’s interesting we probably published this the study in a journal
called BMC public health which is a peer-reviewed open open source journal
so anyone can read it without a subscription and a public health
professional California emailed us saying this is really interesting
article but I was thinking about it and vegetables and decrease the
consumption of meat not only you’re talking about meat but you’re also doing
the individual level suggestion I thought AHA of course right this is
something we tell our students and the reviewers didn’t catch it but she’s
right so this this suggests to me that in thinking about talking about climate
change and dietary choices this is an action that we should leave as a
secondary suggestion and recommendation even though it gets a lot of attention
especially from countries like the UK and other advocates that suggested it
it’s something that from a public engagement strategy we probably
shouldn’t be leading with and we should be talking about other health impacts
and other health recommendations so if you go online what we did with most
recently with our research is we as we put together a a primer for public
health professionals on how to convey the human implications of climate change
from a public engagement strategy one of the first challenges is to think about
what are the other penny leaders in society that can communicate the
relevance trusted opinion leaders that can communicate the relevance of climate
change beyond environmental scientists environmental groups or science
organizations one of those opinion leaders are public health agencies and
public health professionals except public health agencies and professionals
they know that climate change is a health risk but they actually don’t know
much about it and they don’t know what the strategies might be for engaging the
public so we part of the public engagement strategies develop resources
for this segment of professionals so they can engage their local communities
on the health risks of climate change now what’s interesting is we’ve also
been looking at how this same segmentation of the public views the
issue of energy and security particularly the issue of peaks of peak
petroleum so in a paper that we have coming out at the American Journal of
Public Health we asked for the first time we try to look at latent attitudes
and perceptions about peat petroleum you can’t ask the public about people
tolling because they never heard of it so you we asked them generally if oil
prices will be triple over the next five years how harmful or helpful to the
health Americans would it be and here I’ve plotted the percentage of
respondents answering very harmful to health and what’s interesting is across
this audience segmentation those Oh change have the highest levels of
risk perceptions about the health impacts related peak petroleum in
increasing gas prices those climate change are also the most fearful are
those that are most likely to anticipate that gas prices will triple over the
next three years and also those that are most likely to anticipate harmful
economic impacts so if you instead of trying to engage them on climate change
and try to contains the views on climate change energy insecurity is probably an
area that you can work with conservatives in those strongly
dismissive of climate change around community level and state level
reactions especially in adapting to higher energy prices and what to do
about it okay so what I’ve talked about are some of the structural political and
motivational barriers to greater public participation on climate change and I’ve
talked about one of the solutions to those motivational barriers is to think
about the context we set for perception around the issue is climate change an
environmental problem or is it a health problem other frames of reference might
be talking about climate change is a national security problem or even
shifting the frame of reference from climate change to energy security as the
issue that might motivate public participation and that you’re trying to
build collaborations and coalition’s around but one of the other things that
I’ve I’ve I’ve written about and I’ve I’ve tried to promote across different
talks at different universities is to think about truly interdisciplinary what
myself and several colleagues call for culture collaborations in thinking about
public engagement ethics philosophy and religion that provide the moral and the
ethical frameworks and the meaning to why climate climate change might matter
and what to do about it and in the creative arts and the professions these
are the storytellers in society these are the people that take the data from
science in the meeting from philosophy and
religion and put it in together into compelling narrative and in a story but
how do you actually facilitate these types of cross-disciplinary interactions
where does the money where does the incentives come from and one of the
things that we recommended a university like Iowa is either at the college level
the university level that you take the broader impacts money from grants
related to the sciences and you pull that broader impacts money at the
college or the university level and you use that money to invest it around a few
public engagement initiatives where you have these types of for culture
collaborations you have people from these disciplines thinking about how to
invest this money and that also becomes the site for research what makes for
effective public engagement and what kind of impact they might be and it also
makes future science grants that much more competitive because you have a
model for how to actually facilitate broader impacts some of these public
engagement initiatives some of you are very familiar with but public meetings
well organized public meetings deliberative forums there’s been a lot
of research there’s Bob of efforts around these especially in in Europe but
more recently in the United States but well-designed public forums have a lot
of benefits that I talked about in the beginning when you bring people together
around a public forum especially you’re thinking about the role of framing in a
public forum is this a public forum about the health implications of climate
change is about the moral and religious implications of climate change is about
the national security implications each one of those different frames of
reference will appeal to a different stakeholder group and you can facilitate
discussion through that frame of reference what we know from research is
that participating in these types of public forums leads to enhanced learning
leads to enhanced levels of trust and people after turning out to these events
are more likely become participatory on the issue than before that they before
turning out to one of these events now that the problem is as I talked about
earlier thinking about the media as an important part of the communication
infrastructure that we need for communities to come together around
solutions on climate and energy and one suggestion that I’ve been talking to a
lot of different people about and this is a model that has been pioneered in
places different universities across the country in terms of thinking about
investigative journalism units but climate central
a unit that’s based in Princeton New Jersey and affiliated Princeton
University that’s example of this is universities becoming news providers
what this would mean would be a university like Iowa State with other
universities like the University of Iowa and other universities in Iowa would use
their professional and faculty expertise along with their students through
Foundation and government grants support to also hire professional news editor
might be out of work journalist with a freelance budget and this digital news
community would cover climate and energy issues for the state of Iowa so you have
professionally produced independently produced news you would also have video
storytelling there but you would also use the best technologies and the best
know-how from social media to facilitate a discussion at the social media site as
part of these digital news communities so here’s an example I’m familiar with
upstate New York because I grew grew up there and I gave a talk to Cornell
University pitching this idea a few weeks ago but if you took a partnership
amongst Syracuse University Columbia University SUNY Stony Brook and you’ll
see a buffalo some of these have journals and programs some do not
some of expertise in the sciences a full time online community organizer who
construct helped construct the site and manage it you can through the through
the parts of the in terms of content you can facilitate things like alumni
magazine articles news stories from the research news office but importantly you
can also bring to the University Place place but place-based bloggers from the
cities across the state bloggers who are writing about community development the
writing about health the writing about energy and climate change they’re
running about sustainability you can educate them about the issues here but
you can also train them to be effective in ethical bloggers and what you would
then do is you take their RSS feeds and you would feed them into the digital
news community so that would be part of the content there you’d be expanding the
scope of their audience but you would also be facilitating citizen voices as
part of this digital news community and every time you have a public meeting or
a public forum that public meeting or public forum would be covered by the
digital news community you can even produce short documentaries about what
happened in that that forum so in this case the the news content would also be
shared with the news organizations across the state so it would be free
syndication public media organizations newspapers who want to cover climate and
energy the not-for-profit media that’s produced through this site would also be
shared at those sites and what’s interesting I’m sure this is very
similar in Iowa and upstate New York the Buffalo News the Syracuse post-standard
the Rochester Democrat and chronicle they have among the highest penetration
rates for local newspapers in the country ninety percent of the people
living those cities if they read a newspaper read those newspapers rather
than something else like the USA Today The New York Times so in in smaller
communities smaller cities in places like upstate New York and an Iowa you
have high high levels of social capital a digital news community can have that
much more of an impact in terms of facilitating public participation and
learning the other thing that you coordinate with these public meetings
and also the digital news communities in is an opinion leader campaign and
strategy the research and the social sciences and opinion leaders goes back
several decades these are people that are more interested in a particular
issue or more interested in more knowledgeable about public affairs not
only they’re more they follow the issue more closely they have a level of
opinion strength they’re very good at taking information and passing it on to
others in today’s social media world the role of opinion leaders is amplified
through Twitter through blogs and importantly now through handheld devices
so based on the research of opinion leadership through surveys in other
strategies you can easily identify everyday opinion leaders people either
on public affairs or on climate and energy generally or for example in
agriculture who can be recruited in trains and every time you want to engage
the wider public on an issue through public meetings digital news communities
you can you can send out emails and you can trigger your opinion leader network
to go out and talk up the issue to others and pass on information and
imagine if your each one of your opinion leader could opinion leaders could
download an iPhone app where they’re talking to someone else about say the
impacts of climate change in agriculture they don’t know the answer to the
question so they just pull up their iPhone app and they have a little FAQ
there or they could flip around their iPhone and show that person a short
video about the climate impacts and what can be done in terms of agriculture
training recruiting opinion leaders and matching it up to things like public
forums in a digital news community is perhaps the best way to create the type
of communication infrastructure that you need to widen the nut in terms
of public participation on climate change and energy and security and then
finally one of the things that I’m waiting to hear back on for a grant is
you can do a lot of things with the communication infrastructure and
investing in public engagement after people are done with their formal
education but if you really want to increase public participation on issues
related to science technology in the environment you also have to rethink
science education so how many people have heard of STEM education of the
acronym STEM education ok all of you working here at a science University but
what’s interesting the New York Times our New York Times ran an article last
year called STEM education as little to do with flowers and Eric Eric Lander who
was co-chair the PCAST committee that looked at science education said
everybody who knows what it means knows what it means and everyone else doesn’t
in term referring to the acronym stem I would argue that even at universities
within the stem community not everyone agrees what STEM education means what
should be the goals and how to go about it effectively so what I’ve proposed
along with others is that it’s time to understand the audience the decision
makers for STEM education just like we study the public in terms of their views
and attitudes about climate and energy we need to study ourselves in terms of
how do we think about the value of STEM education is it in terms of just workers
or is it we also thinking about STEM education in terms of citizenship and
participation among decision-makers in terms of make setting policy and
investing in STEM education how do they perceive the goals from the National
Academies the National Science Foundation how do they frame the
problems and the challenges and what should be done
who did where do they sign responsibility who do they look to for
opinion leaders in information sources importantly how do students view the
value of STEM education what relevance are what significance is it to them and
it’s through this type of audience research with specialized stakeholders
and the constituents for STEM education we can start to rethink how we prepare
students to be active participants in the debates over climate and energy over
time and for Steinman education generally a big problem like climate and
energy can be a major catalyst for both investment and also change so I’m going
to stop there and I look forward to your questions
and comments Thanks and I leave you with a picture of one of my favorite places
which is a Acadia National Park in Maine this is cadillac mountain view looking
down on Bar Harbor yes I agree with you so in this report which
you know given limited resources in time I chose the national trend setting
newspapers that have been looked at past studies but also remain the debate among
the leads the idea that the New York Times is not getting the story right and
so I chose those papers to try to say okay for that the trendsetting
influential papers while cap and trade was being debated while Copenhagen is
happening how were they conveying the views about
climate science and right yeah so so and so even even in in measuring how they
view how they define climate science it’s difficult because just like in
looking at political bias you have to start with a relatively narrow objective
definition and so in the boy cough studies what what he looked at was
simply how do they portray the reality of climate change in is it human cause
the fundamentals of climate science and that’s how it was measured there and
then getting reliable and valid measurement of other errors where the
error bars are or more uncertain there’s more sides of a disagreement like the
connection between climate change of hurricanes or politically weather
cap-and-trade should be done that’s more difficult to measure but what I have
done is and I’m running this up this summer is I’ve done the same thing with
the major regional papers in Michigan in West Virginia and South Carolina in
2009-2010 those are politically important states for the congressional
districts and the same types of questions you were asking I want to look
at so example how much of the coverage is international AP national how much of
his local and as and I also agree with you that one of the major biases in the
media even if the national media is not the content in terms of betrayal of
climate science but attention attention spiking around political events and then
almost no real significant tension for weeks months after that and I think that
attention bias is even greater at the local community level
because they don’t have the capacity to cover and that’s why I was suggesting
that a digital news community in a state like Iowa that could also syndicate and
share really good coverage with the Des Moines Register with public media
organizations which are becoming digital media hubs and so if you and Michael do
want to do that study I’d love to give you my coding frame and then we can
compare the results across yeah no it not even at the local papers yep yeah
exactly exactly exactly exactly so he likes a lot of questions there but
I’ll okay those are all good questions for the for the news organizations most
of those news organizations what appears in the in the newspaper
remains the central content of their other online news sites so when I talked
about in the report for example is obviously those blogs there’s additional
content there but for New York Times The Washington Post their lead stories are
the stories that are appearing that day also in print and those news
organizations are among the top five most read news organizations online I
think New York Times is number three or four but Washington Post is like seven
or eight is not a print it’s a it’s an online news source has
become like The Associated Press so they do their own online news stories that
are syndicated to other news organizations and it’s the fourth most
widely read news source online and what’s interesting is yeah people are
moving towards online sources for their news and that’s especially the case now
among under 30s for the first time that a majority of people get their news
online versus through other sources but these papers still set that set the
trend in the tone for coverage and other outlets including broadcasts across the
country both the agenda and also the tone so again you know looking at
looking at other online sources is important but the only resource to look
at five the thing about so your second question was oh that cost correlation
right so that what I didn’t talk about looking at the economic trend day and I
talked about the report is that you know it looks like with a trend data there’s
you know there’s a you know the most parsimonious explanation for why there’s
been a downturn on climate change is that performance the economy and there’s
a really interesting study by two economists who took national survey data
first of all they looked at Google search trends at the state level and is
very strong variation by unemployment level at the state level and seeking out
information about climate change versus jobs so as unemployment goes up in a
state searching for climate change goes down search terms related to climate
change goes down in search terms for jobs go up all right so that plays on
people’s motivation and the perceived risk the other thing they looked at is
in national security and national level data is the relationship at the state
level between unemployment and perceptions of
indicators on climate change concern belief perceived priority I forget the
other indicators are controlling for demographics and other other factors the
very strong relationship between unemployment level in the state and a
respondents belief and concern about climate change and then they went to
California with state level data in California where California has
generally has a high level of environmental values compared to other
states and at the county level unemployment controlling for other
factors is strongly related to the perceived priority the environment
versus to perceive priority of jobs so between the trend data in that study by
economists and what we know about from social psychology research in terms of
our limited pool of worry it all suggests that the economy shouldn’t and
can’t be overlooked as a major factor accounting for public opinion trends may
be the most likely factor with the opinion trends on Bush versus Gore
what’s interesting is that in in a social science studies that we have we
have about 40 studies that have looked at the role of the conservative movement
Republicans in shaping public opinion about climate change but there’s only
one study from 2002 when I was in graduate school that looks at the role
of Democratic leaders in shaping public opinion about climate change and what
that study shows is that in 1997 when the Clinton camp of the Clinton White
House tried to have a campaign in support of Kyoto what the researchers
did a national survey before the campaign and then afterwards and what
they found was that the Kyoto campaign on behalf of that the Clinton White
House did didn’t have an impact in the aggregate on overall public opinion but
for the first time during that period you see a difference between how strong
partisans Republicans and Democrats view the issue Democrats grew more concerned
were more supportive of international action Republicans grew less concerned
and were less supportive and if you follow the trend lines over time what
essentially happen over the last decade is Republicans really didn’t change in
their views about climate change they remained at about 45 percent and several
different indicators in terms of belief concern and some other indicators it’s
Democrats were mobilised in their belief they went from about 50 percent
concerned early in the decade to 75 percent by 2007
and that’s completely consistent with political communication research on on
elite cues how people how individuals not not wanting to collect a lot of
information on policy issue simply look at what the messages that we’re
receiving from trusted political leaders and and if you look at the messages from
trusted political leaders at that time yet Gore saying this is an urgent
problem Republicans were the major barrier to action you have Republicans
saying no this is not a major problem it’s just al gore trying to fool you and
there’s a lot of interesting things that went on in 2006-2007 around the kind of
celebrity culture around gore the Academy Awards the MTV Music Awards his
appearance on something like more than a dozen magazine covers and all fits also
with things that were going on in political culture more generally when
the country at that time was more left-of-center so all those things
suggest that we should look more carefully at the role that Democratic
leaders have played especially Gore in shaping polarization on the issue
polarization is not a one-way street we know that from a lot of studies in
political communication so yep right yeah it’s a couple couple
interests and things that your question raises is what one question is why is it
that members of Tripoli asked scientists in general or overwhelmingly one sided
in their political outlook also why is it that they’re overwhelmingly one sided
in the religious outlook – in terms of being more secular less religious and
you know there’s a couple different political scientists have looked at the
professors in general Tripoli asked members match up pretty well with
surveys of professors in general and sturm those their political outlook and
one and one reason they they provide is that this is a self-selection process
part of socialization when students are in college those that select themselves
into taking into pursuing a PhD they the Republican students opt out of pursuing
a PhD because they turn to careers that lead to the business and going into
other industry whereas students who slot self-select into PhD careers tend to be
have stronger liberal values and there’s different things associated with that
and so it’s it’s an interesting self selection process in thing happens with
religion that it’s not that science education is pursuing a PhD kind of
burns away your religious beliefs but there’s really good book out now by a
sociologist at Rice University that finds that that process actually starts
when you’re young that people who grow up in more secular households are more
likely to choose a career in science were those that grow up in more
religious out households are less likely to do so and so that the choice that the
fact that people are already more secular happens even before they start
learning about science at an advanced level when they’re pursuing a PhD the
other part of your question is if I understand it correctly you were saying
that the authority of science scientists are being challenged by by religious
leaders and that’s undermined the ability of scientists to communicate the
effect of on climate change okay I think that there’s a general narrative and
this has been a narrative within the science community and within popular
culture for a long time that almost every decade has this sort of a
different sort of fall from grace narrative about science that science is
under attack or the authority of scientists are being undermined and most
of the public opinion research suggests otherwise that scientists among social
groups remain the most trusted and most admired and science as an institution
this varies by particular issues but science as an institution only only the
military has higher levels of trust and Americans overwhelmingly believe in the
promise of science to improve their lives so the good quantitative
indicators that we have show that the cultural authority of science remains as
high as it ever has been in fact it might be those that are critics of
science would argue that the cultural authority of science is too great but I
think one of the problems is actually that that science in part has alienated
itself from religious communities and this is through some movements like the
new atheist movement Richard Dawkins and others who argue that science undermines
religion even respect for religion and you know one of the most effective ways
to engage the public different segments of the public on climate change is to
talk about its moral meaning in its religious meaning so if if there’s
increased distrust among science and science and religious leaders in part
over the debate over evolution or driven by outspoken scientist like Richard
Dawkins it undermines our ability to engage religious Americans CEO Wilson I
think makes this case very provocatively and effectively
when he argues that I’m an atheist but if I sat down with the Baptist minister
you know 95% of things we would agree and can’t we all come together and try
to work together on those things we agree instead of always you know trying
to look at points of disagreement I think that’s one of the challenges on on
climate change yeah right I think part of it is is is having
fixing she said that as a journalist even though this segment is relatively
small and you met you mentioned this that who’s commenting on climate change
balls first of all people self-select themselves into skeptical blogs and pro
actions right but if you look at like anti Rafkin spattered York Times blog
look at the comments there and just like in the real world opinion intensity
drives participation in the online world the more intensely you feel about an
issue the more threatened you feel about an issue the more likely you are to
participate and this is also the case with with with science blogging is that
the people who are blogging among scientists are probably those that are
most committed to an issue in fact they might be the most politically
ideological one of the interesting things that I want to do is is look at
this my expectation among this triple ask data engage in terms of talking to
journalists my expectation is that in terms of ideological distribution it’s
the people at the tail ends of the ideological distribution the 19 percent
who self-identify is very liberal and the 9 percent who self-identify is
conservative who are the most active in communication activities right that’s a
problem because the voice that the public is hearing from among scientists
are the people at the tail ends of the distribution in terms of political
identity if that holds true that’s a hypothesis that I have but as a
journalist one thing is just to recognize that when you get an email
back or you get a comment at what you’re right that you know it’s incredibly you
know first of all it’s a it’s a it’s a choice to read your article about an
interest in the issue and then to comment on it is even more of a choice
so the people who are leaving those comments are the people who feel most
opinion intents either we dramatically need action now and you know you’re
probably writing a good article when people on the two tail ends or
criticizing you chances are you’ve written a pretty pretty good article in
that case right that’s something that Andrew Atkin talks about so you need to
kind of acknowledge of that but but also is how do you get beyond just that those
two tail end communities that’s where framing comes in that’s if
you’re writing a story about the health implications instead of the
environmental impacts which are important but once you start talking
about the health implications or climate change as a commute connects to things
like a community development and economic growth that or religious values
those or national security if those types of stories where you’re likely to
go beyond just the tail end of the spectrum in terms of who’s paying
attention and who’s commenting well I didn’t talk I didn’t talk about
it in this presentation but it relates to things like opinion leaders is social
norm perceptions so instead of giving people prescriptive information you
should do this or if you do this this will benefit the environment you give
people descriptive information that 80% of members of your community are taking
energy efficiency efforts right a specific energy efficiency effort
because people often when faced with a complex choice instead of gathering
information about that choice they’ll simply look around to their social
environment to see what the majority norm might be and in this case this
competition among towns connects to both perceived norms but also identity right
it becomes a matter of pride it becomes a matter of civic pride connects to
things like social capital all of those things are you know apart from how well
that the members of that community actually understand energy or climate
change and so it’s always balancing the need to educate people about these
specifics about these dimensions to then understanding human nature and
collective action which is often not based on information but on these other
things right like identity and perceived social norms so I think we have time for
one more question there well thank you very much to be happy to talk to you

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