Highlights from recent research on the science of climate change communication:
- Americans overestimate the prevalence of wind and solar in our energy system (which includes both power generation and transportation). Americans also trust the solar industry more than the coal and natural gas industries (Makovsky, 2016).
- Evangelical fundamentalists are more likely than other religious adherents to dismiss the risks and human causes of climate change. Tea Party supporters are also more likely to dismiss climate change (Shao, 2016).
- Liberals tend to value compassion and fairness. Conservatives tend to value purity, authority and in-group loyalty. People who value compassion, fairness and, to a lesser extent, purity are more willing to act on climate (Dickinson, McLeod, Bloomfield, & Allred, 2016).
- People who feel connected to others are more likely to believe that their actions—such as supporting an environmental group—will serve the greater good (Cojuharenco, Cornelissen, & Karelaia, 2016).
- People have negative associations with the term "fracking" but mixed views on "shale development" (Merryn et al., 2016).
- Arguments against climate science are generally incoherent and contradictory. These are common attributes of conspiracy theories. Climate denial is only coherent when considered as a political tool for opposing policies aimed at curbing fossil fuel consumption (Lewandowsky, Cook, & Lloyd, 2016).
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