Climate Change Communication from Cities in the United States

06.11.2017 - 12:00 to 13:30
Location : 
A 5,6 Raum A 231
Type of Event : 
AB B-Kolloquium
Constantine Boussalis, Ph.D.
Lecturer affiliation: 
Trinity College Dublin

Abstract: Cities in the United States engage in climatic action, even in the face of gridlock and resistance at the federal level. While scholars point to action at the local level as critical to effective climate adaptation, the degree to which cities communicate climate change issues to their constituents have yet been fully explored. In this article, we evaluate how U.S. cities communicate climate change related issues, problems, and policies. We use a computer-assisted approach to evaluate climate change efforts by cities by examining the full text of press releases of 82 large cities in the United States. We first identify who discusses climate change, finding that many large cities in the United States address climate change in their public communication. Second, we examine the content of these discussions. Many cities discuss weather-related concerns in conjunction with broad collaborative efforts to address global warming, while city-based policy discussions focus more on energy and transportation efforts. Third, we evaluate the local factors associated with these discussions. We find that the city's climate vulnerability is particularly impactful in shaping the level and timing of climatic communication.