Echo Chambers Warp Policy Debate — CleanTech Talk Podcast

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In the second half of this interview for our CleanTech Talk podcast series (first half here), Michael Barnard, Chief Strategist of TFIE Strategy Inc. and CleanTechnica contributor, sits down to continue a conversation with Ed Dolan, economist, writer, and Senior Fellow at the Niskanen Center, about climate change communication and action across political divides. You can listen to the full conversation in the embedded player below. Below that embedded SoundCloud player is a brief summary of the topics covered, but tune into the podcast to follow the full discussion.

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Ed starts the second half of this episode by exploring how to motivate an audience to action, specifically related to carbon taxes. As he explains, any action that requires short-term discomfort will see pushback. While both Mike and Ed have differing perceptions of how carbon taxes are received across the political spectrum, they both agree that varied solutions may be needed in order for a carbon tax to be successful.

The two transition into a discussion on framing and communication. As Mike explains, he may not be the right person to communicate to Evangelical Christian communities about climate change, or even conservative communities. Mike says, however, that Ed’s position within the Niskanen Center is unique in that the Center has the preconditions of success to talk to subsets of right-leaning communities. Despite their disagreement in the first half of this episode, the two conclude that both have different audiences that they can most effectively communicate to and both audiences are valid choices to be recipients of communication efforts.

Mike and Ed move on to a conversation on journalistic balance. Ed’s opinion is that balance requires representing accurately that there is scientific consensus surrounding human-driven climate change, but also not giving attention to false claims like the claim that the Greenland ice sheet may be completely melted by the end of the 21st century. The two end the podcast by discussing Ed’s worry that discourse surrounding the Green New Deal may be an inhibitor to action, and how Daniel Kahneman informs economic principles.

To hear more on these topics, as well as Ed’s recommendations for CleanTechnica’s own communication, listen to the show!

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