Climate Science in the Media
What are Americans learning about global warming from the news media?
NICE investigates and finds that basic climate facts appear in The New York Times with vanishingly small frequencies.
Click here to download the research paper.
Global warming is arguably the most urgent crisis of our time, yet the public is largely uninformed on the basic facts of the issue. As a result, the United States has been a roadblock to international progress on global warming for the better part of the past thirty years. A public that knows and accepts the basic facts is a prerequisite for confronting the climate crisis.
The climate problem
It is important to know what causes global warming, how big the problem is, and how long it lasts:
- Fresh air today has a higher concentration of carbon dioxide than any human has ever breathed before.
- That extra carbon dioxide comes from burning coal, oil, and gas.
- Since carbon dioxide traps heat that would otherwise escape to space, the excess carbon dioxide is rapidly warming the planet.
- On these points, climate scientists are in complete (97%+) consensus.
- And the resulting warming is effectively permanent: elevated levels of carbon dioxide will persist for a period of 100,000 years.
The climate solution
It is important to know that, to halt global warming, we must rapidly:
- Decarbonize the electrical grid; in other words, generate electricity from sources other than coal, oil, and gas.
- Electrify everything; in other words, use electricity to power and heat our homes, businesses, factories, and transportation.
NICE Communication Pathways
- Climate journalism
- Supporting climate journalism that is focused on the basics of climate science and climate solutions via fellowships and training for journalists
- Media research
- Analyzing the communication of climate science and climate solutions in traditional news outlets and social media
- Social-media campaigns
- Communicating basic climate facts through social-media campaigns with trusted in-group messengers
- Cognition research
- Researching the cognitive processing of climate facts, particularly by those predisposed to disbelief
- Scientist training
- Helping scientists to clearly and consistently communicate the basic facts of climate change and its solutions
- Public art
- Raising awareness with public art installations that bring attention to the big-picture magnitudes, timescales, and processes of global warming
NICE's experts span the disciplines relevant to science communication, including psychology, climate science, education, journalism, marketing, science cognition, and media studies.
NICE Journalism Fellowship
Apply for the 2019-20 Journalism Fellowship
Incorporate basic facts of climate science and/or climate solutions in a work of journalism this academic year as a NICE Journalism Fellow. Open to members of the UC Berkeley community. Click here to learn more.
Assistant Video Producers
Apply to be an Assistant Video Producer for Fall 2019
Take the lead in developing, producing, and editing NICE videos with assistance from NICE faculty and a professional video production company. Open to members of the UC Berkeley community. Click here to learn more.