Speaker: Katharine Hayhoe, director of the Climate Science Center at Texas Tech University and lead author for the Second, Third, and Fourth U.S. National Climate Assessments
Comments: Ludovic Voet, ETUC Confederal Secretary
Opening remarks: Philippe Pochet, General Director ETUI and Yelter Bollen, Policy officer Arbeid & Milieu
Briefing: Katharine Hayhoe is an atmospheric scientist whose research focuses on understanding what climate change means for people and the places where we live. She is a professor at Texas Tech University, she hosts the PBS digital series Global Weirding, and she has been named one of TIME's 100 Most Influential People and Fortune’s 50 World’s Greatest Leaders.
The challenge posed by human-induced climate change to society and the natural environment has been carefully and methodically summarized by thousands of peer- reviewed studies and decades’ worth of exhaustive reports by Royal Societies, National Academies, federal agencies, and the IPCC. As the scientific evidence builds, however, public and political opinion in the U.S.—as well as in other developed nations including Australia, the U.K., and Canada—remains sharply divided along ideological, socio-economic, and religious lines. Understanding the reasons that have created and fed this polarization is crucial to the success of outreach efforts that attempt to bridge this divide. The main reason for this divergence is not a deficit of information or knowledge among the public. Instead, there are a plethora of causes that can be variously categorized as psychological, societal, political, and economic. The diversity of these barriers helps explain why no single message or campaign has been able to successfully turn the tide of public opinion. By identifying each of these barriers, however, Katharine Hayhoe will share from her experience how it is possible to bypass much of the “he said-she said” stalemate in media and outreach activities, transitioning instead towards positive action based on a foundation of shared values and concerns.
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You are cordially invited for a drink after the event in front of the meeting room.