Beyond Counting Climate Consensus, Environmental Communication

Tsouvalis, Judith and Pearce, Warren and Grundmann, Reiner and Hulme, Mike and Raman, Sujatha and Hadley Kershaw, Eleanor (2017) Beyond Counting Climate Consensus, Environmental Communication. Environmental Communication, 11 (6). pp. 723-730. ISSN 1752-4032

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Several studies have been using quantified consensus within climate science as an argument to foster climate policy. Recent efforts to communicate such scientific consensus attained a high public profile but it is doubtful if they can be regarded successful. We argue that repeated efforts to shore up the scientific consensus on minimalist claims such as “humans cause global warming” are distractions from more urgent matters of knowledge, values, policy framing and public engagement. Such efforts to force policy progress through communicating scientific consensus misunderstand the relationship between scientific knowledge, publics and policymakers. More important is to focus on genuinely controversial issues within climate policy debates where expertise might play a facilitating role. Mobilizing expertise in policy debates calls for judgment, context and attention to diversity, rather than deferring to formal quantifications of narrowly scientific claims.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Environmental Communication
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Research Output Funding/yes_externally_funded
?? yes - externally fundedenvironmental science (miscellaneous)management, monitoring, policy and law ??
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19 May 2023 10:40
Last Modified:
15 Jul 2024 23:49