Environmental Communications Literature Reviews Examples
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The general public is vulnerable to listening and believing any information concerning climate science from any member of the society who has influence. Such influencers include politician, a scientist or a regular society member who speaks about the science of climate (Füssel, & Klein, 2006). Applications of science in their works bring about a comprehensive answer to the mysterious questioning surrounding the climate change. The paper will elucidate why scientists are deemed more trusted massagers of climate science subsequent incorporation of scientific research in their work.
Information concerning climate needs to be communicated to the public in such a way that no void is left out. The relationship between scientists and journalists needs to be good to facilitate a proper channel of communication. Workshops have helped scientists from all over the globe interact in forums meant to diffuse ideas and consequently make informed decisions concerning the issue at stake. Tony Socci and Bud Ward devised the workshop program where scientist from different countries would meet with journalist to create an understanding on matters of climate (Ward, 2008).
The USA government, through the initiative of the President [Obama], has spearheaded the efforts to making climate science known by the general public. This is by forming a bench of climate expert in the relevant field to address the issue and sensitize the public on their findings and recommendations. Sensitizing the public on matters of environmental science will make them know the merits and demerits of having a sustainable climate. This method is more reliable if the involved team of experts executes their duties with regard to their professional and experience prowess (Nisbet, 2009).
Articles and journals concerning climate science help readers acquire valuable information concerning environmental studies. However, the information in each article should be written in a manner that it caters for the clientele knowledge, values, attitude and media source. The content of the articles and journals is all the same though paraphrased in different words through latest research findings are bound to appear in lately published articles (Nisbet & Scheufele, 2009.).
The electronic media plays a major role in influencing the public opinion and awareness of the climate science. The mode of conveyance by the press concerning the scientific knowledge largely influences the publics’ attitude towards those domains. However, the accuracy and exactness of the information to be relayed need not to be compromised. This is because little confusing facts are bound to mislead a large group of people (Carvalho, 2007).
The main role of climate scientists is to dig deep in collecting and presenting data and information on climate change. The scientists provide reports on trends and impact of climate change. The reports make climate change meaningful to the people globally and provide policy, objectives and relevant facts on this issue. However, communication is the major challenge that climate scientists are facing when it comes to explaining to non-science people about the uncertainty and risks surrounding potential changes of climate. The scientists have realized that technical jargon hurts the message of science, and this has come to be a challenge even to climate scientists (Pidgeon & Fischhoff, 2011). Technical terminologies have become a challenge in communication of the climate change/conservation reports. Communications are critical aspects that make public understand climate science. Therefore, it deserves to be effective in conveying the practical implications of complex, uncertainty and risks of climate change (Pidgeon & Fischhoff, 2011). Contemporary, climate scientists have sounded the alarm of climate change that helps the public to understand environmental threat that might alter human life on earth. Nevertheless, climate scientists and their policy have experienced the problems and complexities due to communications challenges (Weingart, Engels, & Pansegrau, 2000).
When addressing complex topics like global climate change, there is the urge for finding effective ways of communications. Climate communication has a variety of guidelines, but there is little empirical evidence of efficacy. Hence, this becomes a challenge when it comes to dispassionate explaining the science or persuading non-science people to act in sustainable ways (Pidgeon & Fischhoff, 2011). Few people understand the underlying technical jargon well enough which become so hard for them to evaluate climate-related issues. “Human societies appear capable of anticipating the unintended consequences of their own actions and of undertaking major efforts to prevent life-threatening outcomes (Weingart, Engels, & Pansegrau, 2000).” Therefore, there is the urge for understandable and effective communication will help the non-science to comprehend.
In many cases, the scientists have been accused of exaggerating scientific claims and predictions in order to attract public attention. For non-science people to take climate-related issues seriously and support with appropriate responses, there is a need for scientists to communicate effectively and in a language that everybody can comprehend. To address these challenge IPCC scientists established a confidence terminology to communicate estimates of uncertainty in a language that everybody can understand (Grundmann, 2007). For instance, “very high confidence” was applied to denote a prediction that has at least ninety percent chance of being accurate (Grundmann, 2007). “High,” “low,” “medium,” and “very low” confidences were another term included by IPCC. “Very low confidence” was developed to refer to a prediction that us less than one out of ten chance of being accurate (Somerville & Hassol, 2001, p.49).
Technical jargons have greatly permeated non-science people to discourse on climate-related issues. There is and evidence that people do interpret such probability jargons better and subjectively than scientists intend. Uncertainty in climate change varies in type and significance, having said so, and it is difficult to convey the message without people understanding the issue. The general public interprets certain common used word totally different as used by scientists (Somerville & Hassol, 2001, p.51). For instance,
The final aspect is to consider future directions for the communication strategies when communicating about climate change or the importance of environmental conservation. Over the years, climate change has been debated as a scientific phenomenon. An effective communication strategy must have the following aspects; governance, intention, action and outcomes for it to convey the message. It is noted that pairing of scientific analysis and a potentially catastrophic implication moves every nation toward action (Sala, 2010). The basic strategy of effecting climate change communication is considering people first. The key factor in shaping the people’s engagement with a climate-related issue is their level of understanding of the science behind climate change.
Climate correspondents should try to appeal the values that held by public. This will make it easier for people to recognize climate change as a personally meaningful issue. The other strategy is to bring climate effects close to home (Sala, 2010). This means that everybody will be aware of climate change. Approach of skepticism carefully helps effective communication of climate change. Among the emerging issues for future directions for the communication strategies is the technology. In tackling climate change, technology applies three strategies that are mitigation, adaptation or both the strategies. Communication technologies play a primary role as well as offering a fundamental contribution on effective methodologies of diffusing experiences and techniques to the publics. This helps those who have faced the challenge of adaptation to climatic conditions and new environmental (Sala, 2010). Technologies are vital for quick information transfer concerning risks of climate change.
Another strategy is long-term and deeper engagement. Climate change is irreversible and cannot be solved quickly in human timescales. Therefore, this calls for long-term and effective communications that will tackle this challenge (Fritze, Williamson & Wiseman, 2009). Long-term engagement strategies are used to support and improve climate change adaptation, mitigation, and structural modification outcomes. Long-term engagement involves two-way processes, the community aspirations, needs, concerns and values of the citizens. The second process involves the government and civil society organizations (Fritze, Williamson & Wiseman, 2009). The engagement helps in overcoming the sense of hopelessness and powerlessness and strengthening understanding, therefore helping them to do the correct action required in fighting climate change.
Mass mobilization is important in ensuring that the vulnerable climate around us is preserved. The audiences have a major role in ensuring the sustainability of the environment since they are the people involved in the human day to day activities that affect the climate around us. The public may create field days or seminars where members of the society will gather in a forum to address the issue of climate change (Moser, 2010). Sourced specialists in environmental science will attend the forums to instill scientific significance to the matter and make the public aware of the implications of climate change. Planting of trees either on private land or communal land is also helpful in reinstating afforestation. Educating the public on activities that threaten the future of the environment is also vital. Such activities include charcoal burning and tree cutting. Continued deforestation for whatever reason may hinder rainfall from reaching the area and hence the effects of drought will be felt (Moser, 2010).
Since no nation is sidelined in the threat of environmental degradation, nations should engage in dialog meant to conserve the environment as a block. Neighboring countries should form alliances and sign treaties that will keep in control the day to day activities of humans (Moser, 2010). Such activities include the use of nuclear energy, emission of gasses from the various industries and the waste management strategies employed by the countries. Failure to keep in check these human activities will gradually risk depletion of the ozone layer, induce global warming and make the polar ice melt resulting to rise above the level of sea water (Moser, 2010).
In conclusion, it is evident that scientists are deemed more reliable to communicate environmental science to the general public, which has a variety of advantages. These include; members of the society may join in the race for researching on the appropriate ways to conserve the climate. The government in collaboration with the public will make informed decisions on how to conserve the immediate environment around them. Ethical decisions are also made in a bid to control heinous acts that endanger the climate sustainability. The government also formulates laws and regulations that are aimed at ensuring the environment is not further degraded. Communicating factual information concerning the environment disapproves mysterious myths surrounding lies, and archaic beliefs are counteracted by facts supported by science.
Carvalho, A. (2007). Ideological cultures and media discourses on scientific knowledge: re-reading news on climate change. Public understanding of science, 16(2), 223-243. Retrieved from https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00571102/document
Fritzer, J., Williamson, L., & Wiseman, J. (2009). Community Engagement and Climate Change: Benefits, Challenges and Strategies: Report for Department of Planning and Community Development, Victorian Government. Department of Planning and Community Development.
Füssel, H. M., & Klein, R. J. (2006). Climate change vulnerability assessments: an evolution of conceptual thinking. Climatic change, 75(3), 301-329. Retrieved from http://metcalfinstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/CommunicatingOnClimateChange.pdf
Grundmann, R. (2007). Climate change and knowledge politics. Environmental politics, 16(3), 414-432. Retrieved from http://stsclimate.soc.ku.dk/papers/grundmannclimatechangeandknowledgepolitics.pdf
Moser, S. C. (2010). Communicating climate change: history, challenges, process and future directions. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change, 1(1), 31-53. Retrieved from http://web.env.auckland.ac.nz/courses/geog320/resources/pdf/climate/Moser%202009.pdf
Nisbet, M. C. (2009). Communicating climate change: Why frames matter for public engagement. Environment: Science and Policy for Sustainable Development, 51(2), 12-23. Retrieved from http://www.climateaccess.org/sites/default/files/Nisbet_Communicating%20Climate%20Change_0.pdf
Sala, S. (2010). The Role of Information and Communication Technologies for Community-Based Adaptation to Climate Change. Retrieved from FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION OF THE UNITED NATIONS Rome, 2010 website: http://www.fao.org/uploads/media/ap606e_2.pdf
Somerville, R. C., & Hassol, S. J. (2011). The science of climate change. Phys. Today, 64(10), 48. doi: 10.1063/PT.3.1296. Retrieved from http://verderiverinstitute.org/communicatingclimatechange.pdf
Ward, B. (2008). Communicating on climate change: an essential resource for journalists, scientists, and educators. Retrieved from http://www.researchgate.net/profile/Hans-Martin_Fuessel/publication/225490337_Climate_change_vulnerability_assessments_an_evolution_of_conceptual_thinking/links/09e4150990259e0685000000.pdf
Weingart, P., Engels, A., & Pansegrau, P. (2000). Risks of communication: discourses on climate change in science, politics, and the mass media. Public understanding of science, 9(3), 261-283. Retrieved from http://web.env.auckland.ac.nz/courses/geog320/resources/pdf/climate/Weingart%20et%20al.%202000.pdf
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