One-Planet Talking blog

Picture a hand holding up a small empty picture frame looking out over a bluff above a beach.

Photo by pine watt on Unsplash

clive tesar's picture

You’ve likely seen it by now – the sculpture of a polar bear transfixed by a towering line representing the rise in Global carbon dioxide emissions. The sculpture by Danish artist Jens Galschiot was first shown in Paris, and has been used since in some other settings, including a square in front of the Danish parliament.
What you may not know is that the story of the sculpture’s creation can be partly traced back to the Conference on Communication and Environment (COCE) in Boulder, Colorado last summer. It was my first IECA Conference, and I was eager to get as much out of the event as possible, presenting some of the WWF Arctic work, but also learning from others.

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Mark Meisner's picture

I have just finished up grading and other final tasks for the January 10-week session of IECA's online course Environmental Communication: Research Into Practice. I almost called it the Winter session, but I am not sure we had winter here in the northeast US and I know it wasn't winter in other parts of the world where some of the participants live.

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The IECA's picture

Taylor & Francis and the International Environmental Communication Association (IECA) are pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Matthew Nisbet as the new Editor-in-Chief of Environmental Communication, starting from 1 January 2017, succeeding Dr. Alison Anderson of Plymouth University, UK. Dr. Nisbet is an Associate Professor of Communication Studies at Northeastern University, USA.

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The IECA's picture

The IECA's 2017 Conference on Communication and Environment will be hosted by IECA founding member Anders Hansen at the University of Leicester in Leicester England. The conference will take place June 29 to July 2, 2017 with pre-conference events on June 28.

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The IECA's picture

When it comes to talking about the environment, the Pope’s message of compassion stood in clear contrast to Volkswagen’s fraudulent marketing in 2015.

Experts in communicating about environmental issues have voted Pope Francis the “Environmental Communicator” of the year for 2015, and chosen Volkswagen as the “Environmental Miscommunicator" of the year.

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Alison Anderson's picture
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Alison Anderson's picture

Francis Lee (Chinese University of Hong Kong), author of ‘Economic Conditions, the Policy Cycle, and Media Visibility of Environmental Organizations’ provides a timely analysis of the factors that affect media visibility of environmental groups in his latest article published in Environmental Communication.

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Alison Anderson's picture
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Marianna Poberezhskaya's picture

The Paris deal generally got a very good press. Most reporting in the immediate aftermath had a similar focus on a few key headline points: this was a “landmark victory”, albeit one with a few cautionary notes. Yet a closer look reveals some telling differences.

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Anabela Carvalho's picture

On Saturday morning, as the COP continued past schedule with successive postponements of the release of the agreement text, which was going to be, in all likelihood, a watered down, strategically vague version of what the world needs, I found myself wondering what to do. Having been all week at Le Bourget conference centre as an observer representing IECA, I decided to spend that day on the other side of history, the side of the citizens in the streets of Paris who defiantly organized several demonstrations to express their resolve in struggling for a better planet (eventually authorized by the police the day before).

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Gregg Walker's picture

As I begin to write this, I am sitting a COP 21 plenary room, La Loire, on Saturday 12 December 2015 with two thousand others; from both country delegations and civil society organizations.  We gather in an “overflow” room, watching events taking place in the adjacent plenary room, La Seine.  In that room, French Foreign Minister and COP 21 President Laurent Fabius is highlighting key parts of the “Paris Agreement.”  After more than two decades of negotiations, 196 countries have apparently agreed to a legally binding document to collectively confront the causes and impacts of climate change.

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Chui-Ling Tam's picture

During the 4th Paris Committee meeting on Wednesday Dec 9, as individual countries and regional coalitions responded to the “ambitious” draft text that would be the almost penultimate version of the agreement coming out of COP21, an increasingly powerful and repeated refrain was the “red line” of 1.5 degrees Celsius. Delegate after delegate asserted that 1.5 was the deal-breaker, the line of last defence, the line that defined possibility and certain death for numerous Small Island Developing States and the many states bordering on the oceans.

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Anabela Carvalho's picture

The Conference Centre where the COP21 is being held has seen a plethora of side events in the last two weeks. There are the “official side events”- over 200 according to UNFCCC’s website - and a much greater number held in the national and thematic pavilions. All sorts of topics have been discussed, from agroecology to children’s rights and the “Work of the LEG in supporting the LDCs on NAPs and NAPAs” (that’s a good display of COP lingo for you). And of course business, lots of business.

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Stephen Depoe's picture

I have been reading with interest the many and varied blog posts published by our intrepid IECA colleagues who traveled to Paris for the COP-21 meetings.  Their stories and insights, along with their active participation in various events and side-sessions, have galvanized me anew as to the value and importance of IECA as a stand-alone professional organization.

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Chui-Ling Tam's picture

Sat today by some giant translucent animal figurines for that most furtive and fleeting of COP21 activities – eating lunch – I was approached by a graduate student distributing a questionnaire that has made the annual round of climate change negotiations since COP13 in Bali in 2007, an event that some identify as the pivotal point at which The Blue Economy entered the global lexicon, with its emphasis on oceans.

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Anabela Carvalho's picture

Numbers are a powerful communication code. They carry an appearance of truth and a credibility that tends to be unparalleled by words. Climate-related numbers made headlines around the world again today with the publication of a study on Nature Climate Change that projects a slight decrease of global emissions in 2015. Meanwhile, in Paris, much of the wrangling between parties at the COP21 is about the target of the agreement (which is now in its ‘final’ stages and in the hands of ministers).

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Chui-Ling Tam's picture

Last week, torn between environmental pride and terrorism worry, my 11-year-old told me she had struggled to explain to her school friends what I was doing at COP21. I gave her the main narrative, that human actions were intervening in nature in ways that had contributed to an accelerated rising of the earth’s temperatures, and we had to figure out how to slow, halt or reverse that. Part of my job was to study, explain and improve on communication about threatened environments so that people could design and take effective action. At stake were future generations, like herself and her children and their children. She didn’t think her friends would get it.

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Alison Anderson's picture

At the Paris Climate Summit the media presence is more important than ever. Carola Betzold (University of Gothenburg, Sweden), author of 'Press Briefings in International Climate Negotiations', reflects on which parties to UNFCCC use press briefings, and why.

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Juliet Pinto's picture

In his remarks today at COP21, the former U.S. vice-president, Al Gore, placed the climate crisis in a historical context. “When a choice becomes clear, the outcome is inevitable,” said Gore. “The climate crisis is the latest in a long string of social struggles, from abolition, to women’s rights, anti-apartheid; I could go on. But the world is increasingly recognizing that it is immoral to put 110 million tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere every day as if it were an open sewer.”

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Phaedra C. Pezzullo's picture

At COP21, there are plenty of presentations from experts in STEM fields focusing on facts: climate scientist reports and mathematical data are shared, while technological and engineering innovations are understood as necessary parts of solutions to transform our energy systems and revitalize global economies. But, the headline news and daily debriefs about people making a difference? They focus on the interdisciplinary arts of how to think critically and to communicate in ways that might move others.

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