Anthony Leiserowitz

Sat, 2013-01-19 07:00Jim Hoggan
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Communicating for Change: Anthony Leiserowitz on Climate Change Psychology

When it comes to climate change, Yale's Anthony Leiserowitz says, “you almost couldn't design a problem that is a worse fit with our underlying psychology”; an insight that is all too apparent. 

In spite of the dramatic increase in extreme weather events and growing scientific concern, climate change is seldom mentioned by politicians, business leaders or the news media in Canada and the US. While public concern is on the rise, public pressure to fix the problem is flagging. 

In this recent interview, Bill Moyers asks Leiserowitz to explain the state of public opinion surrounding climate change and what might be done to improve climate change communications.

Wed, 2013-01-02 18:15Brendan DeMelle
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Ending Climate Silence - What Obama Should Say In State of the Union Address

What should President Obama say about climate change during his upcoming State of the Union address?

Check out this preview clip from Bill Moyers' interview with scientist Anthony Leiserowitz, director of the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication, who articulates some key points that the President could use to end the partisan bickering on climate change. The full interview airs on the next Moyers & Company


Check the Moyers and Company schedule page to find out when the episode will air in your hometown. 

Tue, 2012-07-03 05:46Chris Mooney
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New Study: Climate Deniers Are Emoting--Especially the Conspiracy Theorists

Anyone paying attention these last few years will have noticed that global warming denial simply isn’t a rational phenomenon. And it’s not just that if there were any reason involved, then denial it would have decreased in prevalence—rather than increased—as climate science grew more firm and certain over the past two decades.

No: It’s much more than that. It’s that so many climate deniers are, let’s face it, angry. Try talking about the issue on the radio sometime. Get ready for them to call in, ready to argue with you.

Now there’s new scientific evidence documenting this emotional aspect of climate denial. In a new paper in Risk Analysis designed to tap into the “affective” component of the climate issue, Yale’s Nicholas Smith and Anthony Leiserowitz report on four separate studies of the public’s emotional associations related to climate change, conducted from 2002 to 2010.

In the surveys, people were asked about the first “word,” “thought,” “image,” or “phrase” that popped into mind in association with global warming. It was the analysis of these rapid fire responses that showed a steep increase in emotional climate denial. As Smith and Leiserowitz put it:

Several significant trends in Americans’ associations with “global warming” over time were identified. Perhaps most notable was the large increase in the proportion of naysayer images (e.g., “hoax”). The proportion of naysayer images rose from less than 10% in 2002 to over 20% of total responses in 2010.

And even as such denier associations increased, associations involving climate impacts like melting ice and sea level rise declined over the same period (though associations related to “disasters” also increased somewhat).  

Fascinatingly, the study also looks more closely at the various associations made by the deniers.

Sun, 2011-03-20 13:49TJ Scolnick
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Big Differences In Public Opinion of Climate Change In Canada And The U.S.

A fresh public survey and a new report [PDF] from the The Public Policy Forum and Sustainable Prosperity, confirms that a wide gap exists between Canadian and American perceptions of climate change.

In the fall of 2008, nearly three-quarters of Americans accepted the reality of global warming and for a time, it seemed that American and Canadians views of climate change were quite similar.

What a difference two years makes. Four in five Canadians believe that climate change is occurring and this figure has been relatively stable over time. South of the border, as recently as several months ago, and after incessant attacks on the science of climate change, support fell to barely half and has only just been rising to around 60%.

Tue, 2010-02-23 12:17Richard Littlemore
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Denial Campaign's Success Evident in Two New Polls

New polls in the U.S. and in the U.K. show a continuing collapse in public conviction that climate change is a serious and urgent issue - a result that can only be interpreted as an unprecedented measure of success for the campaign to deny global warming.

A poll by Anthony Leiserowitz Climate Project at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies shows that the number of people who are “dismissive” of climate change has doubled and the number of people who are “alarmed” has dropped by half in the last two years.

The Guardian reported that an IPSOS Mori poll shows the number of Britons who believe that climate change is “definitely” a reality has dropped 30 per cent, from 44 per cent to 31 during the last year.

Such results demand that we look back over the past year to figure out what’s causing these huge shifts in public opinion. It can’t be the scientific evidence, which by virtually every measure gets more alarming by the day. Ice is retreating in the Arctic and the Antarctic. An unprecedented drought persists across southern Australia, the global average temperatures continue to edge dangerously higher, and other wierd weather seems to persist everywhere.

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