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Climate Communications and Behavior Change: A Guide for Practicioners

TitleClimate Communications and Behavior Change: A Guide for Practicioners
Publication TypeManual Entry
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsPike, Cara
PublisherClimate Leadership Initiative
Audience, Framing, Identity, Impacts, Public support, Values

Addressing global warming calls for changes in beliefs, assumptions and thinking about the environment, economy and our well-being. If you close your eyes and think about global warming, it is hard to picture. We can’t see carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases building up in the atmosphere. Carbon comes from endless sources, not just the obvious places that come to mind when we think about pollution such as smoke stacks. We hear the term global warming yet there are freak snowstorms and record low temperatures in places not expected. How can we get our head around a problem that we can’t see, touch or feel yet involves major risks to life on Earth as we know it?

Citation Key326
Community Notes

The first half of the guide describes general climate communication strategies, including:

  • Creating tension to motivate action
  • Building a sense of efficacy so people believe their actions will have impact
  • Showcasing the benefits of climate change action

The second half of the guide - more useful and unique to this resource - focuses specifically on tailoring messages to specific audiences. The guide profiles various mentalities about climate change action, and considers how to appeal to each individually. The profiles are:

  • Greenest Americans
  • Idealists
  • Caretakers
  • Traditionalists
  • Driven Independents
  • Murky Middles
  • Fatalists
  • Materialists
  • Cruel Worlders
  • UnGreens