Public Engagement

Americans Support Strong Climate and Energy Policies

Dear Friends,
Today we are releasing the second wave of results from our recent national survey. This report finds that, despite the recent drops in public beliefs and concern about global warming, a large majority of Americans—regardless of political affiliation—support the passage of federal climate and energy policies. These include support for:

American Opinion Cools on Global Warming

Dear Friends,

Today we are releasing the results of a new national survey on public responses to climate change. This report focuses on public beliefs and attitudes and finds that public concern about global warming has dropped sharply since the fall of 2008:

Yale Project on Climate Change Update

Dear Friends,
Happy New Year!  Thank you for your interest in the work of the Office of Strategic Initiatives and the Project on Climate Change here at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies.   
A few recent highlights to ring in the new year :

Apocalypse Fatigue: Losing the Public on Climate Change

You may not like what these guys have to say but at least they are exploring THE toughest climate change question "why after decades of public education and the growth of scientific certainty aren't we doing something to fix climate change?"

How to Communicate About Climate Change

Two Stonehouse members have recently contributed to new, evidence-based guides for communicating about global warming – two documents that have the capacity to make major advances in the integrity and efficacy of the conversation about climate change.

The first of these documents comes from the Center for Research on Environmental Decisions (CRED) at Columbia University in New York. Entitled The Psychology of Climate Change Communicationsit is framed as “a guide for scientists, journalists, educators, political aides and the interested public.” Stonehouse scholar Anthony Leiserowitz, Director of the Yale Project on Climate Change, was a leading contributor.

The second document, penned in part by Stonehouse scholar and former Earthjustice communications VP Cara Pike, is called Climate Crossroads: A Research-Based Framing Guide,offered “for global warming advocates; from global warming advocates.”


It’s clear that both papers have been extensively researched. The CRED paper, written by Debika Shome and Sabine Marx, arises more from an academic tradition, while the Climate Crossroadsdocument is a compilation of the learning of a host of environmental organizations. In fact, the contributors’ list is a who’s who of climate change activism, ranging from gold-standard traditional environmental organizations like Greenpeace and the Sierra Club to newer climate-focused groups like 1 Sky and So, while the CRED paper is more theoretical in its approach, with some of its excellent advice originating in careful experiments and labs, the Climate Crossroads material is more likely to be experience-based – although a goodly amount has also been focus-group tested. In both papers, this is clearly information you can rely on.


A final rough distinction between the two papers is that CRED talks more about how to communicate about climate change, while Climate Crossroads spends more time offering arguments and suggestions for what to communicate, even at the (acknowledged) risk of offering advice that might time out if not acted on promptly.


Excerpt from Do The Right Thing: Dialogue

An excerpt from Chapter 6 of my book "Do the Right Thing" Dialogue: Successful Conversations, Even Public Conversations, Have to Go Two Ways

Visions of a Sustainable World

Dear Friends, I’m delighted to share with you the online video launch of our new “Visions of a Sustainable World” lecture series.

Dedicated to inspiring visions of a sustainable world and practical strategies to achieve it, the lecture series was inaugurated this Spring by Dr. Paul Raskin, the President of the Tellus Institute and a Director of the Great Transition Initiative. Dr. Raskin presented a provocative “history from the future” – a look back at how global sustainability was achieved, from the vantage point of the year 2084.

Our second speaker was Alex Steffen, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Worldchanging and Editor of Worldchanging: A User's Guide for the 21st Century. He spoke about "Building a Bright Green Future That Works," on the emerging tools available to create sustainable, prosperous communities.

Both lectures are available via Yale's YouTube channel:

Institute for Environmental Decisions

Project Admin: 
Prof. Dr. Thomas Bernauer, Prof. Dr. Stefanie Engel, Prof. Dr. Bernard Lehmann, Prof. Dr. Roland W. Scholz, Prof. Dr. Renate Schubert, Prof. Dr. Michael Siegrist

The aim of IED is to analyze individual and collective decisions in the context of natural resource utilization and environmental problems. Furthermore, IED strives to support private and political decision makers to achieve sustainability in the face of today’s risks and uncertainties. Management issues affecting climate change present a prominent example of decisions that have traditionally been made on a very weak basis of knowledge about future states of the world. IED focuses on research as well as on teaching at different levels.

Climate Decision Making Center

Project Admin: 
Granger Morgan

The uncertainty in climate change and our energy future remains and is likely to remain even with more research. If policy makers are to do anything about global warming, they will have to make decisions now, in spite of the uncertainty. At the Climate Decision Making Center (CDMC), researchers are studying the limits in our understanding of climate change, its impacts, and the strategies that might be perused to mitigate and adapt to change. CDMC investigators are creating, illustrating, and evaluating decision strategies and tools for policy makers that incorporate such uncertainties. Through the spin-off CCSReg project, we also have collaboration with the Univeristy of Minnesota, the Vermont Law School and the law firm of VanNess Feldman.

Center for Research on Environmental Decisions

Project Admin: 
Professor Elke U. Weber, Professor David H. Krantz

The research focus of the CRED is environmental decision making processes, especially those that arise in the course of adaptation to climate variability and mitigation of or adaptation to global climate change. CRED will use research results to design and to evaluate possible decision aids, including tools that facilitate use of scientific information about the natural and social environment and tools that may lead to better group decisions. Other project goals include educational aids to improve undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate studies, outreach in the form of training or information-sharing with individuals and group leaders, and synergistic, integrated research findings.

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