Communication Strategies for Engaging Climate Skeptics: Religion and the Environment
Emma Frances Bloomfield
Communication Strategies for Engaging Climate Skeptics examines the intersection of climate skepticism and Christianity and proposes strategies for engaging climate skeptics in productive conversations.
Despite the scientifically established threats of climate change, there remains a segment of the American population that is skeptical of the scientific consensus on climate change and the urgent need for action. One of the most important stakeholders and conversants in environmental conversations is the religious community. While existing studies have discussed environmentalism as a factor within the religious community, this book positions religion as an important factor in environmentalism and focuses on how identities play a role in environmental conversation. Rather than thinking of religious skeptics as a single unified group, Emma Bloomfield argues that it is essential to recognize there are different types of skeptics so that we can better tailor our communication strategies to engage with them on issues of the environment and climate change. To do so, this work breaks skeptics down into three main types: “separators,” “bargainers,” and “harmonizers.” The book questions monolithic understandings of climate skepticism and considers how competing narratives such as religion, economics, and politics play a large role in climate communication. Considering recent political moves to remove climate change from official records and withdraw from international environmental agreements, it is imperative now more than ever to offer practical solutions to academics, practitioners, and the public to change the conversation. To address these concerns, this book provides both a theoretical examination of the rhetoric of religious climate skeptics and concrete strategies for engaging the religious community in conversations about the environment.
This book will be of great interest to students, scholars, and practitioners of climate change science, environmental communication, environmental policy, and religion.