chapter  11
Communicating Climate Change at the Community Level
WithHuston Gibson
Pages 13

In this chapter, data are presented from interviews collected from ten individuals who professionally engage with community planning and development initiatives across Kansas, helping residents identify issues and long-term solutions related to local challenges. Each participant discussed, in detail, their experiences when addressing (or not addressing) climate change at the local level; these interviews were transcribed for analysis. The chapter provides an overview of lessons learned through successes and failures in communication, the importance of framing and communication strategies, and promoting climate change policy and action. Challenging situations were particularly those where listeners preferred not even to acknowledge climate change, much less any initiatives that address it. Findings suggest persistence in educating listeners, framing the issue and word choice are valuable techniques when communicating about climate change at the community level. The findings also revealed one common strategy of avoiding the term “climate change” altogether. The chapter concludes with implications and recommendations relevant to community development practitioners, such as local government officials and/or staff, university Extension professionals, non-governmental organizations, other advocates of community level climate change policy and action, and other related students and academics.