The media on climate change: a perfect storm of miscommunication

Mary DebrettDr Mary Debrett

Honorary Associate, College of Arts, Social Sciences and Commerce

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The media and climate change: A perfect storm of miscommunication

We are now in the middle of perfect storm of miscommunication about climate change. Various factors have converged to confound rational public conversation. Public opinion polling indicates that although there is widespread acceptance of climate change resulting from human activities, the public's preparedness to pay for action to mitigate climate change is actually declining - even as climate scientists warn of the increasing urgency for action.  These results signal a serious problem in the public communication of climate change.  They reflect this perfect storm – where tensions between the media, politicians and various lobby groups have made it impossible for scientists, and others with appropriate expertise, to cut through.