All author's publications are listed below.
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.
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.
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.