Climate Silence (and how to break it)...

Climate Silence (and how to break it) is the latest report from COIN, The Climate Outreach and Information Network. In it COIN describes the blanket of silence that has descended upon the issue of climate change in the UK in the past five years. The report argues the debate urgently needs new narratives that make the link between the climate challenge and ordinary people’s lives.

The report argues that media, politicians and communicators have lost their nerve on climate change, and unsurprisingly this has had a huge effect on the public. From the Prime Minister who famously asked us to vote blue to go green, it took the Super Typhoon in the Philippines to provoke a statement on climate change. The latest UN IPCC report produced a short lived ripple of media interest. Scientists, cowed by personal attacks, have become increasingly reticent to discuss climate change. And civil society has largely fallen silent.

This climate silence will not be broken by turning up the volume on the science, the report argues. The underlying facts of climate change are like a dictionary which provides the basic vocabulary. But the real challenge is in weaving prose to inspire people to care about the problem. Climate change is fundamentally a human story, and public campaigns must reconnect with that basic fact.

COIN advocates a national series of conversations about climate change, initiated by representatives of different communities (not just green campaigners). These conversations would not be designed to simply make an economic case, put forward scientific facts or win an argument. Instead, they would unearth the values and principles on which different people base their views about the world, and build a bridge – a meaningful storyline – between people’s values and those of a more sustainable society.

The Climate Outreach and Information Network (COIN) is at

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Download the report at

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