Declaring that framing should be a central strategy, Ellen Goodman in today’s syndicated Boston Globe column issues a call to arms on climate change: “Can we change from debating global warming to preparing? Can we define the issue in ways that turn denial into action? In America what matters now isn’t environmental science, but political science.” Her piece is one of the best summaries I’ve seen on just how central public communication is to this issue.
In mentioning some of my work in the area, Goodman hits on many of the themes I’ve featured here at Framing Science or that I have presented in recent talks :
1. The strategy of “Big Oil” GOP leaders to go on the right-wing news outlets to assuage viewers that they have nothing to worry about.
2. The “Two Americas of Global Warming” or the striking partisan differences in public views on the topic.
3. The ineffectiveness of fear appeals in engaging the public, what I call the “Pandora’s Box” or catastrophe frame and what Goodman labels “This is your Earth. This is your Earth on Carbon Emissions.”
UPDATE: Tom Yulsman of the Center for Environmental Journalism at the Univ. of Colorado has these very interesting reactions at the Center’s newly launched blog. Like Yulsman, Editor & Publisher views the climate denial comparisons as the most noteworthy angle in the column. I will be able to get some responses up over the weekend. So check back.