Let's Talk Constructively about Climate Change

It’s possible to facilitate informative and empowering conversations about climate change.  This video is about a project that grew from an idea into a network of more than 170 organizations working to do just that.

Informal science education institutions (ISEIs), including aquariums, zoos and others facilitate tens of millions of conversations annually.  Each conversation offers a chance to make a lasting impact on the participants' understanding of scientific issues and also on perceptions of their own capacity to make a difference in the world.

The National Network for Ocean and Climate Change Interpretation (NNOCCI) started with a commitment to using evidence-based communications developed through social science research. Beginning in 2010, we worked with social scientists and ocean and climate scientists to train ISEI educators.

Training focuses on learning empirically tested techniques such as appealing to common, deeply held values that unite Americans, explaining the mechanisms driving climate change with tested metaphors, and orienting discussion toward examples of people already fostering positive change. 

Our approach is working!  Evaluation evidence shows visitors to NNOCCI institutions are learning more from presentations and report they are more hopeful. Participants’ colleagues, friends and family members also perceive a difference.  Out of this work, a vibrant network of over 350 communicators has spread across the US, with more joining each year. The network has become a force of its own, with members continuing to practice and learn from each other, and put research into practice.