Climate Change and Sustainable Futures The importance of Climate Change Communication Peter Cox CCSF : Motivation Interdisciplinary research to inform active management of the climate system: Improving predictions of climate change and its effects on ecosystems and human health; Developing technology for mitigation and adaptation; Investigating public attitudes and government policy in relation to the environment; Understanding the dynamics of the coupled humanenvironment system. CCSF theme: Closing the Climate Loop Predictions of Climate Change Socioeconomic Scenarios GLOBAL Informing Active Management of the Climate System Impacts of Climate Change LOCAL Technology for Adaptation & Mitigation Human Responses to Climate Change CCSF : Successes Recruitment of world-class academics across a broad range of disciplines. CCSF Recruitment Dan Charman : Geography,Responses of Ecosystems to Climate Change Mat Collins: Mathematics,Climate Systems Suraje Dessai: Geography, Climate Decision Making Michael Finus: Business, Economics of Climate Change Bath Uni. Pierre Friedlingstein: Mathematics,Climate Systems Iain Hartley: Geography,Carbon Cycle Jim Haywood: Joint Met Office Prof,Atmospheric Science Tim Kurz: Psychology,Public Responses to Climate Change Hugo Lambert: Mathematics, Large Scale Climate Change Processes Duncan Russel: Politics,Politics of Climate Change Clive Sabel: Geography,Geography of Health Frank van Veen: Biology,Climate Change Biology Patrick Devine-Wright: Geography,Public Engagement with Environmental Technologies + Stephen Sitch, Tim Lenton, Lina Mercado under RKT funding + Neil Adger, Richard Betts... CCSF : Successes Recruitment of world-class academics across a broad range of disciplines. Raising the profile of climate change research at Exeter (e.g. through high-impact papers and extensive engagement in the IPCC – more leadauthors than any other UK university ). “Climate” and “Sustainability” Publications and Citations (2000-2011) Note: CCSF investment began in 2007 Significant Increase in High-Profile Publications CCSF & Communication Exeter is making contributions to the broad understanding of environmental science issues though the work of its academics: Involvement in National and International Assessments (e.g. IPCC, UK Ecosystem Assessment) Representation on advisory groups of government departments (e.g. DECC SAG, Defra Social Science Expert Group). Links to the Met Office. Engagement with the media (e.g. press-releases, contributions and advice for TV programmes, Youtube videos). Outreach events (e.g. talks in schools and to local groups, TEDx-type events). However, CCSF does not have an overall strategy for communication – so this workshop is very welcome! Some thoughts on interaction with the media CCSF research is motivated by providing useful information on environmental change, its causes, and ways to deal with it. It makes no sense to generate such information but not share it, just as it makes no sense to generate information without finding-out what is “useful” – so two communication is vital. Communication through mass the media (e.g. national newspapers, TV) often reaches thousands times more people than even the highest-impact academic paper! The flipside of having a broad reach is that scientific information is often less precisely expressed (i.e. “precision versus reach” trade-off). However, wholehearted (and timely) engagement with respected journalists can minimise the impact of inaccuracies. (I’ve never met a journalist that wouldn’t prefer to get facts right, but I also haven’t met one who wouldn’t like an easier life..;-). Some thoughts on interaction with the media The nature of interaction with the UK media has changed markedly through the last ten years, as a result of the changing attitudes of the media and public: o Late 1990s-early 2000s : a period of interest in climate science in the UK, that provided opportunities for climate researchers to communicate through the newspapers and especially TV. o Early 2000s – mid 2000s: parts of the UK media (e.g. some environmental journalists) and some climate researchers started to wander into “campaign-mode”, using the platform to give personal opinions and value-judgements. (8 mins. onwards) o Mid 2000s – late 2000s: UK media mainly interested in the “bun-fight” between climate scientists and “sceptics”, culminating in the UEA email leak. (9 mins. onwards) o Late 2000s onwards: climate change less of a hot topic, giving a opportunity to return to a more knowledge-based, less polarised, more objective assessment of the options for the future? Questions on Climate Change Communication Do we need a written strategy for climate change communication, or is the support for activities by individual academics sufficient? Given the changing opportunities for mass communication (e.g. less TV interest but more electronic communication), what are the best media for communication now? Which groups should we be communicating with? How do we turn “exposure” into “impact” ?