The Challenges for Climate Communication Post-COP21

Last fall I was in Helsinki to give two presentations at the 2nd ICOS Scientific Conference. ICOS is the Integrated Carbon Observation System, a European-wide research infrastructure that is developing a harmonized system for collecting and disseminating carbon cycle and greenhouse gas data. In their words, ICOS is an “organisation of eleven member countries and over 100 greenhouse gases measuring stations aimed at quantifying and understanding the greenhouse gas balance of the Europe and neighbouring regions.”

 Needless to say, the conference delegates were almost all bio-physical scientists who, I assumed, knew little or nothing about communication theory generally or climate communication research specifically. Keep that in mind as you read on because that informed my approach to the two talks.

In other words, if you are somewhat familiar with the research on climate communication, this should be pretty familiar ground. But if you are new to the topic, I hope this will be a good primer for you.

The first presentation, a keynote, was about the challenges of communicating about climate change in the Post-COP21 context. The second was about some of the main things we know about good practices in climate communication. Both of these talks were meant to synthesize of some of the current thinking among scholars and practitioners on these topics.

What follows is the approximate text of the first talk, edited somewhat for this context. I’ll do a post on the second talk shortly. Continue reading

Environmental Communication: Research into Practice, round 2

Once again I will be offering an online introductory course on environmental communication through the International Environmental Communication Association (IECA). Environmental Communication: Research into Practice will run for 10 weeks from  September 15 to November 21. Continue reading

Environmental Communication: Research into Practice

In about a month I will begin teaching a new course on environmental communication through the International Environmental Communication Association (IECA). Here is the course description:

Environmental Communication: Research Into Practice

Online course: June 9 to July 17, 2014

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And Now For Something Completely Different

BlackKnightLike the Black Knight in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, we act as if nothing needs to change as we lose limb after limb.

Kulturträger column originally published in Alternatives Journal Vol.37, No.6, 2011.

IT SEEMS CRAZY to me how often environmentalists try to dissuade people from ravaging the planet by appealing to their self-interest. Do you know what I mean? Don’t pollute because you’ll be poisoned; think of the money you’ll save by not driving your car; protect the rainforest for it might contain a cure for cancer. Environmental discourse is rife with arguments based strictly on narrow individual and collective human welfare.

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Travelogues with Conviction

There is more than one way to reach paradise. Continue reading

Resourcist Language: The Symbolic Enslavement of Nature

Mark S. Meisner “Resourcist Language: The Symbolic Enslavement of Nature,” in Proceedings of the Conference on Communication and Our Environment, eds. David Sachsman, Kandice Salomone and Susan Seneca, pp.236-243, Chattanooga: University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, 1997. Continue reading