I’m away on a family trip, so don’t have time to write anything much. As a follow up to my earlier post about consensus messaging I thought I would quickly highlight a new paper on Communicating the Scientific Consensus on Human-Caused Climate. The key conclusion seems to be that they
find that communicating the scientific consensus has (positive) direct effects (across the political spectrum) on belief that climate change is happening, human-caused, and a serious threat that requires societal action.
and they also
find little evidence of identity-protective cognition and no evidence of belief polarization across these groups.
Dan Kahan, however, appears to think that it’s misleading.
I find myself returning to the basic point that I was making in my earlier post; that there is a strong consensus with respect to AGW is essentially true. It’s hard to see how avoiding making that clear can aid science communication. Also if doing so is toxic, that would seem to suggest some interesting societal dynamics. I don’t know if consensus messaging actually does aid the communication of climate science, but there are certainly studies suggesting that it does. Whatever is actually true, there certainly does not appear to be a consensus with regards to the efficacy of consensus messaging.