Adeniyi P. Asiyanbi
Public engagement continues to be central to wider efforts to address climate change. This study contributes to public engagement debates by investigating engagement with climate change among an often overlooked group, the corporate middle class in Africa’s second largest megacity, Lagos. Combining survey and interviews, I focus analysis on three aspects: awareness, knowledge and concern; role of scientific and social frames in shaping general attitude; and spatial attribution of causes and consequences. The study reveals a universal awareness and high concern about climate change among the respondents, although understanding and perceptions of climate change are significantly socially framed. Social situatedness, more than scientific facts, is the most important definer of overall engagement with climate change. This study thus underscores a nuanced constructionist stance, showing how corporate professionals’ ‘ways of knowing’ climate change is underpinned by a certain co-production between scientific and socio-experiential frames. I highlight implications for research and public engagement with climate change.
While previous research into understandings of climate change has usually examined general public perceptions, this study offers an audience-specific departure point. This article analyses how Swedish farmers perceive climate change and how they jointly shape their understandings. The agricultural sector is of special interest because it both contributes to and is directly affected by climate change. Through focus group discussions with Swedish farmers, this study finds that (1) farmers relate to and understand climate change through their own experiences, (2) climate change is understood either as a natural process subject to little or no human influence or as anthropogenic and (3) various communication tools contribute to the formation of natural and anthropogenic climate change frames. The article ends by discussing frame resonance and frame clash in public understanding of climate change and by comparing potential similarities and differences in how various segments of the public make sense of climate change.
Xiaoquan Zhao, Justin Rolfe-Redding & John E Kotcher
The effects of news media on public opinion about global warming have been a topic of much interest in both academic and popular discourse. Empirical evidence in this regard, however, is still limited and somewhat mixed. This study used data from the 2006 General Social Survey in combination with a content analysis of newspaper coverage of the same time period to examine the relationship between general news climate and public concern about global warming. Results showed a pattern of political polarization, with increased coverage associated with growing divergence between Democrats and Republicans. Further analysis also showed evidence of reactivity in partisan response to coverage from different news outlets. These findings point to a particular form of politically motivated, biased processing of news information.
Hahrie Han, Neil Stenhouse
Recent evidence suggests that a research-practice gap exists for climate change communication, whereby practitioners are not making optimal use of knowledge that exists and scholars are not answering questions most relevant to practitioners. Closer collaboration between academics and practitioners is one way to close this gap. We recount our collaboration with a group of Sierra Club staff and volunteers working to improve their climate advocacy and organizing activities. From our collaboration, four ways of improving future collaborations emerged, relating to broad versus narrow applicability of communication recommendations, strategy versus tactics, academic versus experiential knowledge, and proactive versus reactive support.