Communicating the human causes of global warming increases public engagement

We are pleased to announce the publication of a new article, “Information about the human causes of global warming influences causal attribution, concern, and policy support related to global warming” in the journal Thinking & Reasoning.

Scientists have known for over a century that increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere (from fossil fuel burning and land use change) acts like a heat-trapping blanket, causing global warming. Yet, public understanding of this process is low. As of 2022, more than 40% of Americans do not understand that human activities – especially burning coal, oil, and methane gas – are responsible for all of the observed increase in global temperatures during the past century.

There are many reasons for this lack of public understanding, including misinformation, poor science communication, and limited media reporting on climate change. Moreover, the scientific nature and intense political polarization of the issue inhibits many people from discussing it with family and friends for fear of conflict or getting the details wrong. Yet, social science demonstrates that talking about the issue of climate change as well as understanding its causes is key to raising awareness and building support for climate action.
— Read on

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