As illustrated by lack of inclusion in recent presidential debates, results from voter surveys, and ultimately by the general election outcome, climate change is not a primary issue for a substantial fraction of the general public. This may not be surprising given that it has been shown that many Americans do not think that climate change is happening or that humans are the cause, despite consensus among the vast majority of climatologists. The first step in making climate change a national priority is thus ensuring that the general public has an accurate understanding the science. Despite the existence of dozens of online resources, books, documentaries, and groups of willing science speakers through networks such as Climate Voices, the general public is not responding to this global problem as informed voters might, nor are they demanding that it be made a priority during campaigns for elected office. The goals of this Town Hall meeting are as follows: 1) To encourage participants to accept the responsibility as individual scientists to make communication of climate change a priority, 2) To identify existing obstacles to effective climate change communication, 3) To identify more effective methods for climate change communication, and 4) To establish a social network of concerned atmospheric scientists who may share educational resources and provide encouragement for young scientists to participate in this effort.
For additional information, please contact Janel Hanrahan ( [email protected])