Climate Change and Meat Consumption Values

by Juana Granados

With the increase of greenhouse gas production every year and the growth of industrialized animal production, climate change mitigation in Western countries has become overly expensive. The world population continues to grow as farms resort to animal production increase because it provides the most income. Bread, once the protein of the west, has now been replaced by high demands of meat, the new protein. De Boer (2012) argues that climate change mitigation costs can be reduced by as much as 50% in 2050 if people choose at least one meal without meat weekly. The objective of de Boer’s study was to see how consumers respond to eating less meat in the hopes of improving climate change mitigation.

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Mass Media and Local Temperature Influence Twitter Discussion

by Juana Granados

Does the mass media have an influence over the trend of tweets related to climate change or are they the spontaneous result of us noticing changes in climate? Kirilenko et al. 2014 produced a study to investigate the relationship between the rate of tweeting on climate change and the number of climate change articles in the mass media. The researchers wanted to know if people connect weather deviations to climate change, creating climate change discourse, or whether the mass media is the source that initiates this discourse. Software was created that searched for the key terms “climate change” and “global warming” every 10 minutes. In order to avoid redundancy, several filters were included such as restricting the software to only US tweets and selecting only the most accurate actively tweeting urban areas. The Twitter feed was analyzed daily and weekly. According to the results of the daily cycle, there appeared to be more tweets on climate change during the daytime hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. On the weekly cycle, there were more tweets during Monday-Thursday, the start of the work week, compared to only a few tweets on Friday-Saturday. Researchers believe that there are more tweets during Monday-Thursday because a large proportion of tweets are published by bloggers, organizations, and journalists who are essentially at work doing their jobs. Continue reading

Communicating Scientific Consensus on Climate Change

by Juana Granados

In a review of 12,500 scientific abstracts by Cook et al. (2013), 97% accept the consensus position that climate change is caused by humans. On the other hand, only 42%, of Americans believe the idea that scientists regard global warming as real concern. Why? Is it because these 42% are uninfluenced by the objective forms of data presentation used by scientists such as pie charts and the type of language used in scientific papers? Would these people be better served by the use of metaphors?  Van der Linder et al. (2014) conducted a randomized online survey consisting of 1,104 people, aimed at reflecting the entire United States’ population. Participants were told that they were going to be focusing on popular topics. Thus, a mix of topics were presented to hide the study’s real objective. Two separate tests, both asking the same question about the certainty of climate change’s occurrence were conducted. The first was in the form of a simple opinion poll while the second consisted of descriptive text, belief vs. action metaphors, and pie charts. Continue reading

Social Research on Climate Change

by Juana Granados

How are the media and a storyteller similar? Grasping the attention of the audience is always the main objective. As scientists try to understand the climatic changes and the effects, there exists a prevailing issue of miscommunication and contradiction. Scientists agree that the earth is undergoing a global heating. However, no one is certain about the actual societal effects. Are there going to be slight problems like a warmer earth or major ones like a change in the social system of humans? While society understands that the climate’s temperature is increasing, there is not yet a fear about its actual dangers. Some advances have been made to cope with global warming such as the Global Climate Coalition funding several groups aimed at climate change prevention. Nonetheless, there is no sense of committed dedication to an issue that is top priority, for the Global Climate Coalition ironically is funded itself by a fossil fuel industry. This lack of concern to the changing climate is due to the low priority of scientific, environmental concerns within the overall government. Continue reading