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Communicating climate change science and solutions among communities of faith
  • Rachel Lamb
Rachel Lamb
University of Maryland, College Park

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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In recent years, many researchers and advocates have noted the potential of religious groups and institutions to leverage their significant influence in favor of addressing environmental challenges. However, in the United States, many scientists struggle to communicate the implications of their work on climate change with faith communities who may be skeptical of both climate science and scientists. Recent polls from the Pew Research Center show that white evangelical Protestants are the least likely to believe climate change is caused by human activity and the most likely to assert that there is no solid scientific support for a changing climate. However, the full picture is more nuanced than can be captured in a news headline or polling survey, and evangelical Christiantiy is a diverse movement that is also found at the forefront of enviornmental and climate science and action. Drawing on more than six years of experience working on climate science communication and climate action solutions among fellow evangelicals in the United States, this presentation highlights best practices for communicating climate science to faith communities. Showcasing examples of work advanced through the Evangelical Environmental Network, Young Evangelicals for Climate Action, and PBS Global Weirding series with Dr. Katharine Hayhoe, I present a hopeful view of efforts to communicate climate change in a way that intentionally and genuinely connects with people's values, and ultimately motivates action. Additionally, this presentation discusses the challenges of and opportunities for engaging communities of faith as scientists with a different or no faith affiliation.