Communicating on Climate Change

Dan Kahan: Cultural Cognition and Safeguarding the Science Commons

When it comes to accepting the reality of climate change, said YCEI Executive Director Michael Oristaglio by way of introducing Dan Kahan, the keynote speaker at the pre-conference dinner, “We often ask, why do so many people not get it?”  Dan Kahan, the Elizabeth K. Dollard Professor of Law and Professor of Psychology at Yale Law School, and director of Yale’s Cultural Cognition Project, explores that question.

Niel Golightly: Shell Oil's New Lens Scenarios

YCEI Director Mark Pagani introduces the conference keynote speaker, Niel Golightly, VP External Affairs for Shell Americas.  Golightly discusses his company’s “New Lens” Scenarios, the latest version of a semi-annual analysis of the energy business environment that they have produced as a planning tool for the past 40 years.  “Mountains” and “Oceans” represent two alternative possibilities of what the world could look like in the year 2050 based on different structural approaches to decision-making in the context of resource management.  The latest scenarios present very different pi

For Ecologists, Is Climate Change Research Sufficiently Complex?

Climate change will alter myriad natural processes as precipitation patterns shift and oceanic and atmospheric temperatures and CO2 concentrations rise. Modern ecology and environmental science has already examined the potential effects of climate change on species and ecosystems, allowing us to elucidate the mechanisms and pathways through which it may operate (Tylianakis et al. 2008)…

Climate Change: Does Experience Shape Beliefs? Or Is It Vice Versa?

People’s views on climate change, whether believers or deniers, can be strongly entrenched and fiercely defended. But how do people’s views on climate change develop in the first place? Does personal experience with potentially climate change-related events (e.g., hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, droughts) shape people’s views on climate change (“experiential learning”), or do prior beliefs inform people’s interpretations of such events (“motivated reasoning”)? This intriguing chicken-or-egg question has recently been investigated in a paper by Myers and colleagues.


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