Julia Corbett publishes new book Communicating the Climate Crisis

Communicating the Climate Crisis: New Directions for Facing What Lies Ahead by IECA member Julia Corbett was just released by Lexington Books. It is available at Lexington for 30% off with coupon code: LEX30AUTH21.

The book argues that effective climate change communication moves beyond individual-messaging and views individuals as products of complex social interactions. The problem is less an “information deficit” than a widespread inability to deal with the climate information we already have: climate change is huge, scary, complex, and we’re not sure what we as individuals can do about it.

This calls for new directions and strategies that help break the inertia blocking social and cultural transformation. Reimagining “earth” not just as the ground we walk upon but the atmosphere we breathe – Eairth – the book examines our consumption-based identities in fossil fuel culture and the necessity of structural change to address the climate crisis. Strategies for overcoming obstacles start with facing the emotional challenges and mental health tolls that lead to climate silence. Breaking that silence through personal climate conversations elevates the importance of the problem, finds common ground, and eases “climate anxiety.” Climate justice and faith-based worldviews help articulate our moral responsibility to take drastic action to protect all humans and the living world. This book tells a new story of hope through action – not as isolated, “guilty” consumers but as social actors who engage hearts, hands, and minds to envision and create a desired future.

Fellow IECA member Edward Maibach (director, Center for Climate Change Communication at George Mason) wrote about the book: Corbett stands unblinking in front of humanity's fiercest enemy – like David stood before Goliath. In a calming voice, she patiently explains to her readers how we made this foe, and how with the strategic use of communication we can unmake it – and thereby create a better and more sustainable world.

Corbett is a professor in the Department of Communication and Environmental Humanities Graduate Program at the University of Utah. Her previous books include Communicating Nature: How We Create & Understand Environmental Messages and Out of the Woods: Culture & Everyday Nature.

The book is part of Lexington Books' series, Environmental Communication and Nature: Conflict and Ecoculture in the Anthropocene.