Other Seminars of Interest

The following seminars and seminar schedules at locations other than ESRL and CSD may be of interest:

Thursday, Sep 6
4pm Mountain
CIRES Distinguished Lecture Series: The challenges of communicating climate science in a politically polarized environment
Presenter: Dr. Katharine Hayhoe
Location: University of Colorado Boulder, CIRES Auditorium
Webinar: Dr. Katharine Hayhoe CIRES DLS on YouTube
Abstract: It was my first year as an atmospheric science professor. We'd just moved to Lubbock, the second most conservative town in the United States. A colleague asked me to guest teach his undergraduate geology course while he was out of town.
The packed lecture hall was cavernous and dark. Many of the students were glued to their phones; others were slumped over, dozing as I began with the fundamental components of the climate system; I waded through the geologic climate record and ice core data; and I explained natural cycles and the role of carbon dioxide – both natural and human-produced – in controlling Earth's climate.
I ended my lecture, as many professors do, with a hopeful invitation for any questions. One hand immediately shot up. I looked encouraging. He cleared his throat. And then, in a loud and belligerent tone, he stated: "You're a Democrat, aren't you?" That was my baptism by fire into what has now become a fact of life across the entire country.
Thermometers give us the same answer, no matter how we vote. Over the last two decades, though, climate change has become one of the most politicized topics in the U.S. Today, the best predictor of whether someone accepts the findings of climate science is simply where they fall on the political spectrum.
How can we effectively communicate in such a difficult environment? I've found that it is often possible to move forward by recognizing and addressing the real barriers, which are more related to tribalism, identity, and solution aversion than to a scarcity of data and facts.
In this seminar, I'll share the framework I use and some practical examples of how to bypass much of the "he said-she said" stalemate in climate outreach and communication, transitioning instead towards positive action based on a foundation of shared values and concerns.

Seminar information is subject to change. Please check these schedules frequently for updated information!