You know how some deniers beat up uncertainty every time climate change is mentioned. Well, there's a new booklet that's just been published, which will give you a heap of good tips on how to deal with the subject.
The tips are organised under 12 headings:
- Manage your audience’s expectations
- Start with what you know, not what you don’t know
- Be clear about the scientific consensus
- Shift from ‘uncertainty’ to ‘risk’
- Be clear about the type of uncertainty you are talking about
- Understand what is driving people’s views about climate change
- The most important question for climate impacts is ‘when’, not ‘if’
- Communicate through images and stories
- Highlight the ‘positives’ of uncertainty
- Communicate effectively about climate impacts
- Have a conversation, not an argument
- Tell a human story not a scientific one.
Shift from ‘uncertainty’ to ‘risk’ because most people don't understand what is meant by uncertainty when used in science. Most people know a bit about risk, though. People typically pay hundreds of dollars a year on insurance against events that have a much lower risk than climate change.
You can read more examples in an article by one of the authors, Adam Corner, at Shaping Tomorrow's World. And the link to the handbook is below.
Adam Corner, Stephan Lewandowsky, Mary Phillips and Olga Roberts (2015) The Uncertainty Handbook. Bristol: University of Bristol - download here.