Online activism about climate change from numerous angles—science focused, policy focused, science-research and policy focused, education focused, PR focused—are proliferating. Indeed, many of the resources throughout this libguide have activism to affect research and public attitudes and policy as implicit reason for being, since climate change is increasingly perceived as a significant problem for the 21st century.
Just as with much of the on and offline information available on climate change, many of these sites often implicitly assume that the availability of clear, research-based information is the key to affecting positive change for a sustainable future. This, unfortunately, is a simplistic view, since information needs to get to, be read by, and acted on by numerous influential stakeholders, who often have differing political or economical agendas.
While these activist organizations use the web effectively as vehicle for useful research-based information, success lies in the next step—that those with influence act on this information. Effective communication strategies (see “Communicating Climate Science”) through productive framing of debates surrounding climate science and risks (see “Framing Public Discussions”), especially to skeptical stakeholders (see “Climate Change Denial”) is indispensable to making information into an effective activist tool.
“RealClimate: Climate Science from climate scientists” is a scientist activist website dedicated to informing an interested public on scientific topics surrounding global warming:
“RealClimate is a commentary site on climate science by working climate scientists for the interested public and journalists. We aim to provide a quick response to developing stories and provide the context sometimes missing in mainstream commentary. The discussion here is restricted to scientific topics and will not get involved in any political or economic implications of the science.” http://www.realclimate.org/
This site has a resource guide to learning about climate change for students at different levels of understanding: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/05/start-here/ World Resources Institute (website)
Among WRI’s numerous research-based projects is an initiative to create markets for ecosystem services, and research to help governments and businesses create policies for sustainable energy and transport solutions.
“WRI focuses on the intersection of the environment and socio-economic development. We go beyond research to put ideas into action, working globally with governments, business, and civil society to build transformative solutions that protect the earth and improve people’s lives.” (http://www.wri.org/about)
“The Union of Concerned Scientists is the leading science-based nonprofit working for a healthy environment and a safer world. UCS combines independent scientific research and citizen action to develop innovative, practical solutions and to secure responsible changes in government policy, corporate practices, and consumer hoices.” http://www.ucsusa.org/
Desmog is run by PR professional Jim Hogan, author of Climate Cover-up: The crusade to deny global warming, and is dedicated to showing how PR has been used to deny climate change.
It includes an online database of climate change deniers, their backgrounds and corporate connections, and resources for further research: http://www.desmogblog.com