People’s views of the climate crisis can be influenced by the media, according to new research. But accurate scientific reporting only has limited impact on people who already have a fixed political viewpoint, particularly if it is opposed to climate action.
Researchers who ran an experiment in the US to find out how people responded to media reporting on the climate found that people’s views of climate science really were shifted by reading reporting that accurately reflected scientific findings. They were also more willing to back policies that would tackle the problem.
But the effect quickly faded, especially when people were exposed to other media that cast doubt on climate science, according to the paper, to be published on Friday in the peer-review journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.