• Contents:
  • Introduction
  • 1. Know Your Audience
  • 2. Get Your Audience's Attention
  • 3. Translate Scientific Data Into Concrete Experience
  • 4. Beware the Overuse of Emotional Appeals
  • 5. Address Scientific and Climate Uncertainties
  • 6. Tap Into Social Identities and Affiliations
  • 7. Encourage Group Participation
  • 8. Make Behavior Change Easier
  • Conclusion
  • The Principles of Climate Change Communication In Brief
  • Download the Guide as a PDF
  • Request a Paper Copy

Learn More

CRED Shrinking Glaciers Education Module

Glacial Retreat ModuleCRED researchers developed a multimedia presentation to show the effect of climate change on the world’s glaciers. One presents information that appeals to the analytical processing system, such as scientific analysis, statistics, and graphs, to describe the relationship between climate change and shrinking glaciers. Another appeals to the experiential processing system of the brain, using vivid imagery (photographs, videos showing reduced glacier size over time, local news footage) and personal accounts to convey the message. Check out both modules to see the difference in how scientific information can be presented.


What Is Your Climate Profile? Take the Six Americas Survey

Six Americas SurveyWhat are your beliefs about climate change? How do these thoughts affect your behaviors and policy opinions? Take this survey created by KQED Public Broadcasting, the Yale Project on Climate Change, and the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication to find out what your answers say about you, your relationship to climate change, and your lifestyle. See where you fall on the spectrum of American attitudes about climate change, and compare your results with other quiz-takers.


CRED Guide Poster

CRED Guide PosterDownload a full-color poster (PDF, 1.5 MB) featuring key points from the CRED Guide. Great to display in your classroom or office. (Poster size is 18x24 inches. Feel free to select “shrink to printable area” or “scale to fit media” when printing. We recommend not printing on paper smaller than 11x17 inches, or A3 paper size, as text will become too small to read comfortably.)


Further Readings

AAAS siteAAAS’s Communicating Science: Tools for Scientists and Engineers

The American Association for the Advancement of Science’s Center for Public Engagement provides resources for researchers wishing to improve communication with the greater public, offering online webinars, how-to tips for media interviews, and strategies for identifying public outreach opportunities, in addition to in-person workshops. http://communicatingscience.aaas.org/Pages/newmain.aspx


Bud Ward GuideCommunicating on Climate Change:
An Essential Resource for Journalists, Scientists, and Educators

This resource guide for editors, reporters, scientists, and academics, compiled by Bud Ward, is based on Metcalf Institute workshops dealing with communication between journalists and climate scientists. It provides tips and tools for covering climate change. http://metcalfinstitute.org/Communicating_ClimateChange.htm


Moser coverCreating a Climate for Change: Communicating Climate Change and Facilitating Social Change

With contributors from diverse professional backgrounds, this book looks at communication and social change specifically targeted to climate change. It provides practical suggestions on how to communicate climate change and how to approach related social change more effectively. This volume is of interest to academic researchers and professionals in climate change, environmental policy, science communication, psychology, sociology, and geography.

Moser, S. and Dilling, L., eds. (2007). Creating a Climate for Change: Communicating Climate Change and Facilitating Social Change, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.


Futerra's New RulesFuterra’s Communications Tactics
for Climate Change

This communications agency, working on corporate responsibility and sustainability, offers easy to understand communications techniques to prompt behavior change affecting climate change. http://www.futerra.co.uk/downloads/NewRules:NewGame.pdf


Global Warming's Six AmericasGlobal Warming’s “Six Americas”

A national study by the Yale Project on Climate Change and the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication identifies six distinct climate change groups within the American public, ranging from “the alarmed” to “the dismissive.” This report profiles these six different audiences and suggests ways to improve education and communication efforts to engage them. http://www.climatechangecommunication.org/images/files/


ICLEI GuideICLEI’s Outreach and Communications Guide

This online guide is designed to help local governments effectively communicate climate information to their constituencies. It contains an array of steps and methodologies for communication and outreach efforts, as well as a compilation of best practices from around the United States. http://www.icleiusa.org/action-center/engaging-your-community/outreach-and-communications-guide


Making Climate Hot article

Making Climate Hot: Communicating the Urgency and Challenge of Global Climate Change

The article explains how to increase public understanding of, and civic engagement with, climate change, providing context for obstacles and seven strategies that applied together can increase wider public concern and build momentum for social and policy change.

Moser, S., Dilling, L. (2004). Making the Climate Hot: Communicating the Urgency and Challenge of Global Climate Change. Environment, Volume 26, Number 10, pp.32–46.


NudgeNudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth, and Happiness

This book, applicable to individuals and governments alike, describes how choice architecture, based on the understanding of how people think, can nudge us to make better choices about better health, sounder investments, and cleaner environments without limiting freedom of choice.

Thaler, R. H. and Sunstein C.R. (2008). Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth, and Happiness, Yale University Press.


APA ReportPsychology and Global Climate Change: Addressing a Multi-faceted Phenomenon and Set of Challenges: A Report by the American Psychological Association’s Task Force on the Interface Between Psychology and Global Climate Change

For this report, APA’s task force examined decades of psychological research and practice that have been specifically applied and tested in the arena of climate change. The report offers a detailed look at the connection between psychology and global climate change and makes policy recommendations for psychological science. http://www.apa.org/releases/climate-change.pdf


Hayes book

The Scientist’s Guide to Talking with the Media

This book teaches researchers how to deliver an accurate message to a broader audience through the media, providing tips on how to turn abstract concepts into concrete metaphors, form sound bites, prepare for interviews, and even become a reporter’s go-to scientist.

Hayes, R. & Grossman, D. (2006). The Scientist’s Guide to Talking with the Media: Practical Advice from the Union of Concerned Scientists. Rutgers: Rutgers University Press.


CRED Publications

For a complete list of CRED publications, visit