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Representing the majority and not the minority: the importance of the individual in communicating climate change

Illingworth, Sam and Bell, Alice and Capstick, Stuart and Corner, Adam and Forster, Piers and Leigh, Rosie and Loroño Leturiondo, Maria and Muller, Catherine and Richardson, Harriett and Shuckburgh, Emily (2018) Representing the majority and not the minority: the importance of the individual in communicating climate change. Geoscience Communication, 1 (1). pp. 9-24. ISSN 2569-7110

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Abstract

This research presents three case studies, through which a creative approach to developing dialogue around climate change is outlined. By working with three distinct communities and encouraging them to discuss and write poetry about how climate change affects them, we demonstrate how such an approach might be adopted at this level. By analysing the discussions and poetry that arose out of these workshops we show how this community-level approach to communicating climate change is an essential counterpart to wider-scale quantitative research. The engagement of each community with climate change is dependent on the lived experiences of their members; a failure to recognize this results in less effective communications and can also cause communities to feel isolated and helpless. By considering the individual needs and aspirations of these communities we can support effective dialogue around the topic of climate change, and in doing so can better engender positive action against the negative effects of anthropogenic climate change.

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