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New book explores peoples' attitudes towards climate change

Mar 4, 2015

The scientific community largely agrees climate change is taking place. Yet the public debate over climate change is often polarizing.

Andrew Hoffman wanted to explore just what causes people to accept or reject the scientific consensus on climate change. The result is his new book How Culture Shapes the Climate Change Debate.

Hoffman is the Director of the Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise at the University of Michigan. He is also a Professor of Sustainable Enterprise.

It has become a debate over values. It's really not about science anymore. It's not about CO2 and climate models. When people talk about climate change today it's become so muddied and connected to concerns about bigger government, distrust of environmentalists, distrust of Democratic politicians, for some people, distrust of science.

In his book, Hoffman writes that two thirds of Americans rarely if ever discuss climate change or global warming with friends or family. 

First of all, understand where they are coming from and what they are hearing. Don't bring up messages they don't trust. Try and find messages they do trust. Frame it in a way that resonates with our audience.