climate change

‘I don’t get this climate stuff !’ Making sense of climate change among the corporate middle class in Lagos

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.



Ignorance or bias? Evaluating the ideological and informational drivers of communication gaps about climate change

Erik C. Nisbet, Kathryn E. Cooper, Morgan Ellithorpe

Does the relationship between media use and learning about climate change depend more on audiences’ scientific literacy on their ideological biases? To answer this question, we evaluate both the knowledge gap and belief gap hypotheses as they relate to climate change. Results indicate belief gaps for news and entertainment content and a knowledge gap for edutainment content. Climate change knowledge among conservatives decreased with greater attention to political news, but increased with greater attention to science news. TV entertainment was associated with a significant decrease in knowledge about climate change among liberals to similar levels as conservatives. Edutainment was associated with a widening gap in knowledge based on respondents’ scientific literacy. Implications for informal learning about controversial science through the media are discussed.


Cinematic climate change, a promising perspective on climate change communication

Maria Sakellari

Previous research findings display that after having seen popular climate change films, people became more concerned, more motivated and more aware of climate change, but changes in behaviors were short-term. This article performs a meta-analysis of three popular climate change films, The Day after Tomorrow (2005), An Inconvenient Truth (2006), and The Age of Stupid (2009), drawing on research in social psychology, human agency, and media effect theory in order to formulate a rationale about how mass media communication shapes our everyday life experience. This article highlights the factors with which science blends in the reception of the three climate change films and expands the range of options considered in order to encourage people to engage in climate change mitigation actions.


Between Consensus and Denial: Climate Journalists as Interpretive Community

Michael Brüggemann, Sven Engesser

This study focuses on climate journalists as key mediators between science and the public sphere. It surveys journalists from five countries and five types of leading news outlets. Despite their different contexts, journalists form an interpretive community sharing the scientific consensus on anthropogenic climate change and agreeing on how to handle climate change skeptics. This consensus is particularly strong among a core of prolific writers while climate change skepticism persists among a periphery of occasional writers. The journalists’ attitudes toward climate change are connected to their usage of sources, indicating that interpretive communities include journalists and scientists.