Session 6D - Climate change

Room 3.24

Climate change engagement: exploring the challenges of integrating theory into practice

Rhian A. Salmon (Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand)

New Zealand’s “Deep South National Science Challenge” (DSC) has a mission “to transform the way New Zealanders adapt, manage risk, and thrive in a changing climate”, and an engagement goal to “improve New Zealanders’ ability and capacity to make decisions informed by DSC-related research”. This presentation will explore tensions between delivering a robust and theoretically-grounded engagement strategy, with the need to meet (or manage) expectations for ‘outreach’ and ‘comms’.

Examples of DSC activities will include dialogue, end-user engagement, co-production, capacity-building, and evaluation, and demonstrate how this work is contributing to bridging the theory-practice divide often experienced in science communication.

Fragmented authoritarianism, nationalism, ecological civilisation and climate change in China

Yuting Yao (University of Manchester, UK)

The complexity and urgency embedded within climate change are appealing for more deliberations in different social, political and philosophical contexts. This paper is going to reflect on how climate change has been constructed under and also shape, the so-called fragmented authoritarianism in China, to argue that more changing social reality need to be included in the discussion of climate change, and to broaden the contemplation of green modernity based on political imperative, development strategy and the way in which they have been communicated.

Diarising Climate Change: Johannesburg Youth’s outlook in their future

Schalk Mouton (University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa)

Global risks such as climate change threaten to have a major impact on the future of youth, especially in developing countries such as South Africa. Recent catastrophic flooding in Mozambique provides an example of the expected more intense and frequent climate events that Africa might have to become used to. The youth of South Africa appear disinterested in climate change. A study aimed at examining what the youth of South Africa think about climate change, and how to mobilise them as change agents found that communicators need to go back to basics in communicating climate change to the youth.

This bookmark gauges the depths of the human: how poetry can help to personalise climate change

Sam Illingworth (Manchester Metropolitan University, UK)

To many non-specialists, the science behind climate change can appear confusing and alienating, yet in order for global mitigation efforts to be successful it is not just scientists who need to take action, but rather society as a whole. Poets and poetry offer a method of communicating the science of climate change to the wider society using language that they not only better understand, but which also has the potential to stimulate accountability and inspire action.

By conducting a qualitative content analysis of 72 poems written about climate change by poets from across the world, this study demonstrates how these poets have interpreted the, at times, esoteric principles of climate change. The results of this study indicate that these interpretations highlight the need to re-position humans in the epicentre of the debate so that a meaningful dialogue around the subject might be established, especially amongst non-specialists.