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The Art of Storytelling: Do Differences in Framing Climate Communication Influence Climate Change Mitigation Policy Outcomes?

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Nicholas Blasi
Nicholas Blasi
2020

Robust scientific consensus about anthropogenic climate change suggests that coordinated policy action is needed to prevent severe environmental and economic damage globally in coming decades. However, public perceptions about climate change vary considerably, and policy actions have been mixed. This study examines the extent to which congressional voting records on climate-related issues in the United States may be influenced by differences in public attitudes about how such issues are communicated. Congressional voting record data is analyzed against national survey data consisting of public opinion estimates for a number of different climate- related statements posed to survey participants. Using regression analysis, I compare the coefficients of the different survey statement data (independent variables) to examine their relative effects on congressional voting records (dependent variable). I find that differences in the way climate communication and policy proposals are framed and reflected as public opinion do seem to have significant measurable effects on congressional voting behavior around climate-related issues.

 

Keywords

climate communication, environmental framing, climate policy, climate psychology, climate change, global warming