Based on Interviewing 65 'Leaders'
Spend the equivalent of nearly two days on the phone interviewing a range of selected national, regional, and local “leaders” on climate change, and you’ll likely come up with some interesting insights.
That’s what Eugene, Oregon-based nonprofit leader and frequent public speaker and climate change columnist Bob Doppelt did in assembling his nonscientific qualitative analysis of “key themes” emerging from phone interviews with some 65 individuals representing a span of generally progressive interests.
Matt Nisbet's Post-Partisan 'BigThink' Idea
It may come across as being a bit pompous, the name “bigthink.”
But there’s no question that some of the climate communications notions spelled out by a respected American University communications expert fall smack into the category of big, and ambitious, thinking.
A great challenge of climate change communication is that the issue is abstract, slow-moving, and often invisible. To get the attention of their audiences, climate communicators sometimes rely on the immediate and the emotional: violence, cute animals, and children.
Just about anything that substantially affects climate change science or policy inevitably affects communication on those issues. The Yale Forum focus in this feature, and the major criterion for inclusion in notable climate developments of 2010, is on key climate happenings influencing public understanding of the subject.
Last fall, respected climate scientist Lonnie Thompson of Ohio State University published a paper in a special edition of the academic journal, The Behavior Analyst. The edition was devoted to the subject of climate change, and Thompson’s paper, “Climate Change: The Evidence and Our Options,” provided the scientific foundation for the contributions that followed.
The complexity of climate change — difficult science, short-term action versus long-term implications, a confusing public debate — is neither difficult nor complex in the hands of a farmer. It is as simple as dirt, seeds, water, and sun.
At least that’s how it appears at Ben Burkett’s farm just north of the Louisiana border in Petal, Mississippi, nearly 300 acres of farm and timber that his family has owned and cultivated for five generations.
Understanding the carbon cycle is a key part of understanding the broader climate change issue. But a number of misconceptions floating around the blogosphere confuse basic concepts to argue that climate change is irrelevant because of the short residence time of carbon molecules in the atmosphere and the large overall carbon stock in the environment.
It turns out that while much of the “pulse” of extra CO2 accumulating in the atmosphere would be absorbed over the next century if emissions miraculously were to end today, about 20 percent of that CO2 would remain for at least tens of thousands of years.