In the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication’s 2018 survey, 70% of respondents around the country acknowledged that global warming is happening and that they are concerned about the harm it will cause to future generations. Yet only about one third of respondents indicated that they discuss climate change "at least occasionally."
To engage the public, climate communicators must broaden the discourse and approaches beyond the usual focus on climate science, policy and politics. A recent review of advances and critical needs in the field of climate change communication emphasizes the cultural work that is needed to address climate change, and calls for more transdisciplinarity and creative approaches in order to effect this cultural change. At Appalachian, the Climate Stories Collaborative is answering this call for a paradigm shift in climate communication.
We recognize that climate disruption is part of the 21st century landscape whether we like it or not. In fact, the rate at which our environment is changing is outpacing our ability to digest and communicate our experiences. How should we talk about the environmental transformations affecting communities around the world? How can we use a variety of creative media to tell stories that motivate action? A growing intersection of faculty from across the university are committed to meeting these questions head on, and to engaging with them deeply and productively.