4 Challenges We Still Face On 50th Anniversary of First Warning To A U.S. President On Climate Change

November 5th, 2015 marks the 50th anniversary of the first warning issued to a U.S. President regarding climate change. In the five decades since this historical event, we've learned a lot about the impact of fossils fuels on our atmosphere, but the climate hasn't been the only thing to experience a change. 

Climate communications have seen a great number of challenges, and we are continually forced to discover better conduits to convey the urgency in forming climate solutions. 

Marshall Shepherd, an American meteorologist and professor at the University of Georgia's Department of Geography, knows a thing or two about climate communications. Scheduled to speak at the  American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), Shepherd outlined four challenges and potential areas for advancements in climate communications.

  1. Social media, blogs, and Op-Eds have provided a forum for an array of voices on the topic
  2. Scientists use too many graphs and too much jargon
  3. Lack of climate-science literacy and perceptions are a big challenge
  4. The “Was It Caused By Climate Change” question is a big challenge

In a similar spirit of Dr. Shepherd's reflection(s), I encourage all of you to do something similar. Think about the way in which you are communicating climate change to your congregation, and look for ways to advance the efforts you have already made. For help revamping your communications skills, check out these resources at Blessed Tomorrow.

50 Years After First Warning To A U.S. President On Climate Change, Communication Challenges Remain

Marshall Shepherd | Forbes

I have come to Washington to participate in a symposium organized by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the largest professional science organization in the world,and the Carnegie Institution for Science. The symposium is reflecting on Climate Science 50 years after the first warning to a United States President on Climate Change.

The AAAS website for the symposium notes:

On 5 November, 1965, the group now known as the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) cautioned President Lyndon B. Johnson that continued accumulation of atmospheric carbon dioxide resulting from fossil-fuel burning would “almost certainly cause significant changes” and “could be deleterious from the point of view of human beings.”

This symposium will reflect on the science, technology, policy, and communication challenges centered around climate change. I will use my spot on the agenda to discuss 4 key challenges to overcome in communicating climate science:

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