Please join LDEO Interim Director Maureen Raymo for the final event in the Summer Stars Lecture Series, with Katharine Hayhoe.
Talk titled: "Barriers to Public Acceptance of Climate Science, Impacts and Solutions.”
Abstract: "The challenge posed by human-induced climate change to society and the natural environment has been carefully and methodically summarized by thousands of peer-reviewed studies and decades’ worth of exhaustive reports by Royal Societies, National Academies, federal agencies, and the IPCC. As the scientific evidence builds, however, public and political opinion in the U.S.—as well as in other developed nations including Australia, the U.K., and Canada—remains sharply divided along ideological, socio-economic, and religious lines. Understanding the reasons that have created and fed this polarization is crucial to the success of outreach efforts that attempt to bridge this divide. The main reason for this divergence is not a deficit of information or knowledge among the public. Instead, there are a plethora of causes that can be variously categorized as psychological, societal, political, and economic. The diversity of these barriers helps explain why no single message or campaign has been able to successfully turn the tide of public opinion. By identifying each of these barriers, however, I will share from my experience how it is possible to bypass much of the “he said-she said” stalemate in media and outreach activities, transitioning instead towards positive action based on a foundation of shared values and concerns."
Bio: "Katharine Hayhoe is an atmospheric scientist whose research focuses on developing and applying high-resolution climate projections to understand what climate change means for people and the natural environment. She is the Political Science Endowed Professor in Public Policy and Public Law and co-directs the Climate Center at Texas Tech University and has a B.Sc. in Physics from the University of Toronto and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Atmospheric Science from the University of Illinois.
Katharine has served as a lead author for the Second, Third, and Fourth U.S. National Climate Assessments. She has also received the National Center for Science Education’s Friend of the Planet award, the American Geophysical Union’s Climate Communication Prize, the Sierra Club’s Distinguished Service award, and the Stephen H Schneider Climate Communication Award, and has been recognized as a United Nation Champion of the Earth in Science and Innovation."