Climate change presents us humanfolk with a notoriously tough communication problem. The scope of the threat is so vast, and the impacts are so wide-ranging and difficult to discern, that most Americans have decided to ignore it altogether. There are many specific well-known communication failures, like that of the traditional news media to accurately relay the findings of climate science to the public.
But solutions to the communication problem might not be to complain endlessly about the Wall Street Journal missing the point, but to work from the ground up, and strengthen the network of researchers, nonprofits, and government organizations who are all working to address climate change in various capacities.
Climate researchers need to communicate their most recent findings to folks who are working in sustainability or resilience sectors -- folks who should be on the front lines when it comes to communicating the threat of climate change to the public. For example, the municipal department that instigated the repaving Chicago's roads with materials more permeable to water did so because they knew climate scientists had found that the city will get increasingly wetter and more humid as global warming proceeds.
Climate Access, a new website that seeks to streamline and foster such exchanges, was built on the premise that this sort of example should be happening all over the nation. City planners and non-profits alike should have a good resource for the latest climate research, and vice versa, and Climate Access aims to provide that resource. From the site's manifesto:
Climate Access facilitates the rapid peer-to-peer exchange of information, bringing together those working on climate communications from various organizations and institutions. As such, Climate Access serves as a network of networks that fosters connection and collaboration and helps turn ideas into action. It also features the Social Capital Project’s ability to synthesize and analyze the most relevant research and campaign strategies.If successful, the site could help fill the great need for more effective climate communication across all sectors in the U.S.