Issues in Brief, No. 20, February 2011

20-IIB-coverPerceptions of Climate Change: The Role of Art and the Media
By Miquel Muñoz and Bernd Sommer

February 2011 (8 pages)
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The public perception of climate change is strongly influenced by what people read and see in the popular press and, increasingly, in the work of artists. Based largely on discussions that occurred at an October 2010 symposium held at Boston University titled Transatlantic Perceptions of Climate Change: The Role of the Arts and Media, supported by the Goethe-Institut Boston and the Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities Essen (KWI). Reflecting on the conversations at that symposium, this paper explores the role that the media and the arts play in shaping whether and how people view climate change as an issue of concern for society.

Miquel Muñoz is a Post- Doctoral Fellow at the Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future, where he specializes in climate change, renewable energy and sustainable development. He has participated as an observer in more than 50 international environmental negotiations meetings.

Bernd Sommer is a Research Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities (KWI) in Essen, Germany, and Research Analyst to the German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU), which advises the Federal Government on climate change and other global environmental and development issues.