When communicating climate change, beware the “boomerang effect”

A recent study looking at Republican American’s reactions to climate change found that climate-related events that were in distant places received little in the way of support or empathy. In fact, when Republicans were asked to support climate change initiatives based on disasters happening in distant places they were found to be more steadfast in their refusal to participate. This has been called the “boomerang effect.” The study is useful in that in shows that messaging around climate change should take into account the beliefs and ideologies of various groups and develop messaging accordingly. Scientists cannot expect everyone to react to far off disasters with empathy or interest. 

Read report here.

About Centre for Civic Governance

The Centre for Civic Governance works to support community leadership meeting today’s social and environmental challenges: climate change, Canada’s increasing equity gap, and shifting social trends. At the Centre for Civic Governance, our goal is to strengthen Canadian communities through sharing best practices, providing tools for locally elected leaders, and progressive policy analysis. We strive to provide knowledge and information to make real and positive social change.