Climate Change Web Videos: Intense Emotions Edition

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A great challenge of climate change communication is that the issue is abstract, slow-moving, and often invisible. To get the attention of their audiences, climate communicators sometimes rely on the immediate and the emotional: violence, cute animals, and children.

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2010 — That Was the Year That Was: 10 Notable Climate Stories of Year Just Ended

Just about anything that substantially affects climate change science or policy inevitably affects communication on those issues. The Yale Forum focus in this feature, and the major criterion for inclusion in notable climate developments of 2010, is on key climate happenings influencing public understanding of the subject.

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2011: A Busy News Year Looms On Climate Change Science, Policy

Last fall, respected climate scientist Lonnie Thompson of Ohio State University published a paper in a special edition of the academic journal, The Behavior Analyst. The edition was devoted to the subject of climate change, and Thompson’s paper, “Climate Change: The Evidence and Our Options,” provided the scientific foundation for the contributions that followed.

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Sustainable Agriculture: Growing a Row of Climate Change

The complexity of climate change — difficult science, short-term action versus long-term implications, a confusing public debate — is neither difficult nor complex in the hands of a farmer. It is as simple as dirt, seeds, water, and sun.

At least that’s how it appears at Ben Burkett’s farm just north of the Louisiana border in Petal, Mississippi, nearly 300 acres of farm and timber that his family has owned and cultivated for five generations.

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Common Climate Misconceptions: Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide

Understanding the carbon cycle is a key part of understanding the broader climate change issue. But a number of misconceptions floating around the blogosphere confuse basic concepts to argue that climate change is irrelevant because of the short residence time of carbon molecules in the atmosphere and the large overall carbon stock in the environment.

It turns out that while much of the “pulse” of extra CO2 accumulating in the atmosphere would be absorbed over the next century if emissions miraculously were to end today, about 20 percent of that CO2 would remain for at least tens of thousands of years.

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Pew Center Scientist Turned Communicator: Jay Gulledge’s Journey from Academia to Capitol Hill

Pew Climate Change Senior Scientist Jay Gulledge has mixed science and communicating since earning his Ph.D. in biological sciences 15 years ago.

On the research side, the biogeochemist has studied carbon cycling and the cycling fluxes of methane between ecosystems and the atmosphere, and he continues to work with colleagues in China on issues involving the country’s methane budget.

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Lessons from The Atlantic Magazine

Covering Climate: World War II-Scale Coverage For a World War II-Scale Effort?

PhotoMajor wars shape the way a nation sees the world. From World War II, Americans gained the vocabulary and metrics for a “good war” fought with steely determination against clearly defined enemies.

The legacy of that war, which the U.S. officially entered 69 years ago, on the date of this posting, can be seen even in today’s national debate over climate change, in the charges and countercharges of “climate change appeasers,” “climate change deniers,” and “climate change fascists.” More useful, but for some equally polarizing, is the aspirational “World War II-scale effort.”

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