The news about climate change is becoming an increasingly pressing topic. Real-life events such as floods, droughts and hurricanes are raising the issue higher on the global media agenda. And this can lead to a lot of conflicting opinions and anxiety. In this article, we explore how different political positions can affect the news about climate change. We also look at how media organizations can communicate the issues effectively.
Political alignment may explain differences in concern
A recent study examining the effects of political orientation on climate change attitudes finds that a person’s political orientation is an important factor in determining their concern about climate change. In particular, this study found that individuals who identify with the left – and not the right – are more likely to worry about climate change.
Political alignment is measured by a questionnaire that asks respondents to identify themselves as left, center or right. Across countries, the results are fairly consistent. This association is strongest in Western Europe and former communist states. However, in the U.S., the relationship between climate change beliefs and worry is less robust.
For example, the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication survey found that 70% of adults are worried about climate change in the United States. This type of survey is a good indicator of how people perceive climate change. It also offers an opportunity to evaluate climate change communication strategies. While a number of researchers have studied the effect of climate change on the human population, identifying how different individuals see and interpret this data is essential to understanding how to communicate effectively about this issue.
Good news can cause eco-anxiety and climate doom
Eco-anxiety is a mental condition that is caused by a person’s fears or worries about the future of the planet. It is a form of environmental stress that can lead to post-traumatic stress disorder and even depression.
Many people have eco-anxiety without realizing that it is a problem. One way to combat this anxiety is to spend time in nature. Another way to help cope with it is to get involved in activism. Taking steps to reduce your carbon footprint can also help.
Younger individuals are especially prone to this form of anxiety. Researchers found that half of young people aged 18 to 34 say that climate anxiety affects their everyday life. Several factors were identified that predict an individual’s experience of eco-anxiety.
One of the biggest contributors to eco-anxiety is watching the slow impacts of climate change unfold. Often, people are exposed to bad news about climate changes and feel like they can’t do anything about them.
Real-life events have raised climate issues higher up the media agenda
If you’ve been keeping up with news coverage of climate change, you may have noticed that there has been a steady rise in public awareness and concern about global warming. This has been accompanied by a wave of social media activism and public demonstrations. There has also been an increase in the number of news outlets dedicating editorial attention and resources to the issue. In September, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres called for a Climate Summit.
A new study demonstrates that the levels of issue attention in the news media vary across different countries. It also reveals the importance of national contexts in this regard.
The study examined news coverage of climate change in 10 countries from the Global North and the Global South. Researchers used an automated content analysis to focus on the societal dimension of the issue. The study found that there are two main themes that are prevalent in climate change news coverage: climate science and human impact.