Your readers want to know more about global warming

Bud Ward

Mar 1, 2020

Unusually warm winters. Unprecedented wildfires in Australia and the American Southwest. Record-high daily temperatures in Antarctica. Your readers are hearing about the consequences of global warming, and they’re worrying about it.

In fact, opinion surveys indicate that nearly six in 10 American adults believe global warming is a serious problem. National surveys also show that registered voters across the political spectrum support a range of policies to address global warming.

Editors of community newspapers are positioned well to help readers better understand the facts of global warming and the options to address it. Yale University’s Program on Climate Change Communication, YPCCC, can help, free of charge.

Based at Yale University, YPCCC and its Yale Climate Connections website have a nonpartisan, nonprofit group of social scientists, editors and writers dedicated to helping the public understand climate change. Two free services might be particularly useful to community newspapers.

First, are you curious about attitudes toward climate change in your newspaper’s town, city, county, state or congressional district? Take a look at the free online tool, the Yale Climate Opinion Maps (http://bit.ly/39S0iBi), for insights on your readers’ attitudes about global warming. Attitudes toward 29 climate- and energy-related questions are searchable by state, county, city or congressional district.

In addition, we offer free, originally reported content about climate change via our 13-year-old independent news site, Yale Climate Connections (www.yaleclimateconnections.org). The contents are published under a Creative Commons license, which means you are free to share, repost or reprint our content. We ask only that you provide a credit to us as the original source.

Our articles include evergreen “explainers” that answer common questions, such as “What’s the difference between weather and climate?” (http://bit.ly/2SOf6LP) We also offer brief introductions to timely topics, such as sea level rise, solar power and the impact of climate change on public health.

In addition, one of Yale Climate Connections’ newest and most popular features is a regular “Ask Sara” column, which has attracted the attention of National Public Radio, Columbia Journalism Review and other news outlets. Senior Editor Sara Peach fields questions from people “on the street” nationally, such as “How can I cope with scary climate news?” (http://bit.ly/2HNaZch) and “How should I talk to my sister about global warming?” (http://bit.ly/2vVLdzV)

“Community newspapers play a critical role in serving practical news and information needs that can’t be solved by even the most respected major metropolitan dailies or broadcast or cable national news outlets,” says Yale Climate Connections founding Editor Bud Ward. “Not only do those media enjoy a reputation for honesty and credibility, but they also touch the heartstrings of their committed readers in ways large news outlets simply can’t match.”

Bud Ward is the Yale Climate Connections editor. For further information on this content-sharing opportunity, email bud@yaleclimateconnections.org.