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Paper: How to Be an Advocate for Solutions to Climate Change
Volume: 531, ASP2020: Embracing the Future: Astronomy Teaching and Public Engagement
Page: 192
Authors: Rector, T.; Fischer, D.
Abstract: Astronomers are in a unique position to help our students and the public better understand climate change. Traditionally we have focused solely on the science. Called the deficit model of science communication, it has been thought that people would care more about climate if they better understood the causes. But it is now clear that people's feelings about climate change largely reflect their values and identity, rather than a lack of understanding. Furthermore, resistance to climate change science is often driven by fears of the solutions; e.g., "big government" regulations that might hurt the economy. When talking about climate change we always need to discuss solutions. Otherwise we are at risk of reinforcing the misconception that the situation is hopeless. The good news is that we are still able to avoid the worst consequences of climate change, and with solutions that can grow the economy and make our lives better. In this interactive session we'll work on how astronomers can talk about solutions. Using the "honest broker" model, we'll show how scientists can be advocates without compromising our roles as impartial conveyors of knowledge. We'll explore different scenarios and examples, including a demonstration of En-ROADS climate simulation software.
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