Waterlines: Confluence and Hope through Environmental Communication. The 15th biennial Conference on Communication and Environment (COCE). June 17-21, 2019, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada

Act on Climate: A tool to help communicators answer the most asked question after climate talks and communications

Robert Motta's picture
Motta, Robert
Lubinski, David
Sommer, Shelly
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Communicators and scientists can be trusted messengers about climate change. That they move people to concern is evidenced by the frequently asked question after talks on climate, “What is the most important thing I can do?” The question comes in many flavors, but at its root shows both concern and willingness to act on that concern. Unfortunately, many communicators and scientists do not have an answer ready, and the moment of activation slips away.

We have created a tool that communicators and scientists can use directly or draw on to help move concerned people to action. The website Act on Climate (seec.colorado.edu/act) was developed at the University of Colorado Boulder, to help its researchers and outreach staff respond to, “What is the most important thing I can do?”

The website identifies and compares the most effective personal climate actions. Developed with the help of social scientists specializing in environmental communication, the site uses a layered approach that is easy to either skim or dive into. The site was also developed with climate scientists, drawing on a wide survey of recent research on the most effective actions. “My story” sections give examples of scientists putting topics into practice.

The website is not meant to fill an “information deficit.” Rather, it is structured to help people already concerned about climate move toward action without having to assume a large cognitive load, and to assist communicators and scientists in reducing barriers to effective action among their audiences.