The MeCCSA CCES Network had a successful conference in Luton, at the University of Bedfordshire campus, with a lively debate around three papers. These straddled the issues of energy security coverage and its relationship with climate change; readers’ comments on tabloid climate stories, post-climategate; and the construction of climate change debate in a developing country context.
CCES plans to run a comparable session at MeCCSA 2013. Anyone wishing to organise a session and/or give a paper, please contact CCES Convenor Dr Neil Gavin: email@example.com.
CCES has also been active with regard to ‘outreach’. Under its auspices, a very successful workshop for climate scientists was run at UCL in January (‘Knowledge Exchange, The Media and Climate Science’). It aimed to give climate scientists the confidence in media-related or knowledge exchange activities. It illuminated the journalistic process, and gave a sense of the mediated context in which this takes place, the coverage produced and the best way to get a message across in the face of organised and vocal climate scepticism. Partly on the basis of its success, the CCES Convenor, Dr Neil Gavin of Liverpool University, has been invited to run a comparable set of workshops connected to the NERC’s generic media training workshops, from November this year, and repeated regularly thereafter. Comparable support will be offered to those British-based climate scientists who will be contributing to the next United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Report in 2013-14.
On March 30th 2012, Liverpool University will co-host a symposium with CCES, ‘Reaching the Public on Climate Change’, which will be free to attend (see below). Here a range of speakers will address the challenges in keeping climate change at the forefront of national dialogue (through the media and other avenues), and assuring that organisations and institutions meet them. Those interested in attending please contact CCES Convenor (Dr Neil Gavin: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Finally, and in line with the CCES’s commitment to encouraging environmental sensitivity in the academic domain, is appropriate to flag up a new report on sustainability in Higher Education. It looks at experience and best practice in the transformation of HE towards sustainability, and the role of the sector in building sustainable communities. The report is available online.
‘Reaching the Public on Climate Change’
Climate change as an issue has been somewhat eclipsed by economic turbulence and economic crisis in Europe. Maintaining its profile in the national dialogue is a significant challenge for a wide range of organisations and institutions and this symposium draws on speakers from a range of such organisations. The speakers will present their take on the challenge of keeping the public, stakeholders and organisations engaged with and informed about climate change, or the problems of confronting the issue in a legislative or social arena. But in addition, scholars in this area will speak on their area of specialisation, as it relates to the issue of public engagement – in the domains of media coverage of the issue, and attitude formation and change in this area. The aim is that the symposium will be an exchange of ideas, experiences and expertise.
Speakers approached or who have already agreed to talk, include:
- Dr Robert Falkner, Grantham Research Institute, LSE, Environmental policy specialist
- Jennifer Pride, Welsh Government, Head – Climate Change. Communications and Engagement
- George Marshall (COIN: Climate Outreach Information Network)
- Cllr Tim Moore (Liverpool City Council Cabinet Member for Environment and Climate Change, and Board of the Nottingham Declaration Partnership).
- Todd Holden, Manchester Chamber of Commerce, and former Director of the Enworks environment business support programme
- Richard Black (BBC Environment correspondent)
- Dr Neil Gavin, Media and climate change specialist
- Dr Lorraine Whitmarsh (Cardiff University), Climate attitude specialist