Monday, August 2, 2010: 1:30 PM-5:00 PM
401-402, David L Lawrence Convention Center
Global climate change is the major scientific and moral issue facing the general public. A recent Pew survey revealed that although 84% of scientists agree the atmospheric temperatures were increasing due to human impacts, only 49% of non-scientists share the same conclusion. This low level of public acceptance of the human role in global warming suggests that we as scientists need to improve communication and education efforts with diverse audiences about the science, impacts of climate change and finding energy use solutions. Global climate change is also a major justice issue, as the impacts are predicted to fall disproportionately on the poor, disadvantaged and vulnerable. Since environmental injustices most often impact those least represented in the ESA research community (e.g., people of color, indigenous people, those at poverty level), we have a critical role in developing methods in inclusive education and in working with local communities and global environmental justice efforts. The goal of this symposium is to consider the most effective ways to engage diverse audiences in learning about the ecological and justice impacts of global climate change and in taking actions in education, lifestyle changes (from individual, household, workplace and institutional levels) and to influence public policy.
Participants in the symposium will summarize the approaches used with their audience, including an assessment of ecology/inequity and ‘practical actions/solutions’ content of existing programs.
They will address these questions: (1) What are barriers to acceptance of global climate change and its effects in your particular communities? (2) What are best practices for communicating with and educating the non-scientific community? (3) How can we develop methods to reach out to culturally diverse audiences? (4) What are the ecological elements in climate change education, messages and energy use solutions, and (5) What is the role of ecologists in conveying them?