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Nov 24, 2020 Commentary
The ambivalent role of environmental NGOs in climate communication

by Simone Rödder

Environmental NGOs play a vital role in public climate communication through their awareness-raising activities and educational campaigns. This commentary points to a potentially problematic implication of their role as climate science advocates which includes the general tendency to attribute environmental changes and extreme weather events to climate change. These climate-centric framings, however, may not resonate with the lived experiences and belief systems of local communities, not even in geographically vulnerable areas. I draw on local case studies to show that communities often express a sense of “shared responsibility” between global carbon dioxide emissions and ecologically deleterious local practices such as shrimp farming (in Bangladesh) and cutting trees (in the Philippines). As a consequence, the studies show mismatches between activists' attributions of local circumstances and events, and local communities' ways of knowing their local circumstances.

Volume 19 • Issue 06 • 2020

Jun 14, 2019 Article
Speaking with one voice for climate science — climate researchers' opinion on the consensus policy of the IPCC

by Imke Hoppe and Simone Rödder

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) proceeds on the assumption that scientific consensus is a tool for successful climate communication. While ‘speaking with one voice’ has contributed to the Panel's success in putting climate change on the public and political agenda, the consensus policy is also contested, as our literature analysis (n=106) demonstrates. The arguments identified thereby inform a survey of climate scientists (n=138), who are the ones responsible for realising the policy. The data indicate moderate support for the consensus policy but significantly more in traditional climate sciences than in social sciences, life- and geosciences.

Volume 18 • Issue 03 • 2019 • Special Issue: Communication at the Intersection of Science and Politics, 2019

Mar 31, 2015 Commentary
Climate sciences meet visual arts

by Simone Rödder

This set of comments reports experiences from a recent “science-meets-arts”-project in Germany, in which students from the University of Fine Arts in Hamburg (HFBK) shared day-to-day life in climate research groups for several months. The project was envisioned as a process of mutual inspiration with the aim of producing a joint exhibition and symposium at the end. This paper introduces the project as well as the subsequent commentaries and also presents some of my own observations.

Volume 14 • Issue 01 • 2015