GSA Annual Meeting in Denver, Colorado, USA - 2016

Paper No. 306-4
Presentation Time: 2:30 PM


RANNEY, Michael Andrew1, SHONMAN, Matthew1, FRICKE, Kyle2, LAMPREY, Lee Nevo1 and KUMAR, Paras1, (1)University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720-1670, (2)The Cockrell School of Engineering, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78712,

Almost no Americans (i.e., 0% of non-specialists) know global warming’s basic mechanism, even at the level of 2-3 sentences. (Ranney, Munnich, & Lamprey, 2016, went so far as to concentrate much of the mechanism into a 13-word haiku––which is also one sentence––as follows: Earth turns sunlight to / IR light that’s sponged by folks’ / Greenhouse gases glut.) Some “stasis” researchers, however, mistakenly believe that exposing Americans and others to (e.g., scientific) information cannot yield more normative U.S. climate change attitudes. We have repeatedly disconfirmed this myth: experiments replicably show that our growing handful of short (1-10 minute) climate change interventions durably increase (mechanistic and/or other) global warming understandings and climate change acceptance. (For examples, see Ranney & Clark, 2016, and Ranney et al., 2016.)

Our interventions increase public acceptance that climate change is both occurring and anthropogenic––even following multi-day and multi-week delayed-post-testing. Conservatives and liberals alike respond positively to our interventions, and in largely similar ways. These independent techniques include (1) texts (of up to 600 words), (2) videos (under 5 minutes in length), (3) statistics (e.g., about climate change’s observed effects), (4) graphs about global warming (e.g., temperatures since 1880), as well as (5) techniques involving statistics related to U.S. nationalism. We will describe these interventions and results, as well as “Consumer-Reports-type” data regarding which interventions more efficiently reduce global warming denial. Finally, we will discuss––our multi-language website for directly enhancing public “climate change cognition,” which includes some of the aforementioned interventions.