2018 Climate Opinion Maps Released

Updated maps that show the distribution of US climate and energy opinions at the local level have been released. These maps now include fourteen new variables, including perceived experiences related to global warming and support for a carbon tax. Mildenberger is one of the lead researchers preparing and developing these maps through the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication.

You can explore these maps for yourself here.

Mildenberger & Stokes post in Mischiefs of Faction on Vox

In response to the New York Times Magazine article on the US failure to address climate change during the 1980s, Matto Mildenberger and Leah Stokes wrote an article for the Mischiefs of Faction blog on Vox

They argue that human nature is an insufficient explanation for delay on climate policy. Instead, interest groups and partisanship must be included in the discussion.

You can read the post here.

Stokes' op-ed on climate change published in LA Times

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Leah Stokes recently published an op-ed in the Sunday print edition of the LA Times on how the absence of media reporting on climate change during extreme weather events and disasters. This is particularly the case for local news media.

She argues that journalists need to do a better job explaining the climate impacts that are already happening across the planet. The public can also reach out to news media to ask them to report on climate change.

Stokes' "Mercury Game" continues to be played around the world

The Mercury Game, a free negotiation simulation that Leah Stokes wrote with Noelle Selin and Larry Susskind, continues to be played around the world to train scientists and policymakers alike.


Most recently, it was played in June 2018 at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) with a group of around 35 scientists from across the world as part of the Science Diplomacy workshop. The game was also played at this workshop in 2017, and Leah Stokes attended both events, helping to teach negotiation skills to these scientists.


The game was also recently played as part of a regional workshop on science diplomacy in South Africa, as part of a partnership between the American Association for the Advancement of Science and The World Academy of Sciences. 

The game has also been recently played as part of training at the Pakistan Foreign Service.

Research co-led by Mildenberger recognized with AAPOR's Warren J. Mitofsky Innovators Award for contributions to public opinion research

The American Association of Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) recently awarded its 2018 Warren J. Mitofsky Innovator's Award to the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication (YPCCC) for its work to model climate and energy opinions at state and local scales. Matto is one of the project leads on this research project, a long-term research effort he has been spearheading for the past 6 years. Matto's climate and energy downscaling work has resulted in a number of high profile publications, coverage on the front page of the NY Times, and extensive attention within advocacy communities.

The Warren J. Mitofsky Innovators Award recognizes accomplishments in the fields of public opinion and survey research that occurred in the past ten years or that had their primary impact on the field during the past decade. In the award citation, AAPOR commended the team for its use of a "new statistical method to downscale national public opinion estimates using multiple regression and post stratification (MRP) survey data collection methodology."

Research by Stokes published in British Journal of Political Science: Internet voting increases turnout by 3.5 p.p.

Leah Stokes recently published a paper along with Nicole Goodman (Brock University) in the British Journal of Political Science on the use of internet voting. Examining municipal elections in Ontario, Canada and using panel data and fixed effects estimators, the paper finds that internet voting can increase turnout by 3.5 percentage points, with larger increases when vote by mail (VBM) is not yet adopted, and greater use when registration is not required. These estimates suggest that internet voting is unlikely to solve the low turnout crisis, and imply that cost arguments do not fully account for recent turnout declines.

The full paper can be read here and it is published as an open access article.

Research by Mildenberger published in Nature Climate Change: Climate messages' experimental effects vary geographically

Research by Matto Mildenberger and colleagues was just published in Nature Climate Change. The article, entitled "Experimental effects of climate messages vary geographically" was co-authored with Baobao Zhang, Sander van der Linden, Peter Howe, Jennifer Marlon and Anthony Leiserowitz.

This new research examines how the effects of a large-n survey experiment on the scientific climate change consensus varies. Social science scholars routinely evaluate the efficacy of diverse climate frames using local convenience or nationally representative samples. For example, previous research has focused on communicating the scientific consensus on climate change, which has been identified as a ‘gateway’ cognition to other key beliefs about the issue.

Importantly, although these efforts reveal average public responsiveness to particular climate frames, they do not describe variation in message effectiveness at the spatial and political scales relevant for climate policymaking. In this article, Mildenberger and colleagues use a small-area estimation method to map geographical variation in public responsiveness to information about the scientific consensus as part of a large-scale randomized national experiment (n = 6,301). The survey experiment finds that, on average, public perception of the consensus increases by 16 percentage points after message exposure. However, substantial spatial variation exists across the United States at state and local scales. 

Mildenberger and colleagues find responsiveness is highest in more conservative parts of the country, leading to national convergence in perceptions of the climate science consensus across diverse political geographies. These findings not only advance a geographical understanding of how the public engages with information about scientific agreement, but will also prove useful for policymakers, practitioners and scientists engaged in climate change mitigation and adaptation.

You can read the full text of the article here.

Nature Climate Change also published a commentary by GWU political science Professor Chris Warshaw to accompany the paper's release. You can read his commentary here.



Mildenberger's research profiled by Nature Climate Change

NYU Psychology Professor John Jost recently profiled one of Mildenberger's research articles in Nature Climate Change. In his piece, "Understanding belief in climate change," Jost highlights Matto's research on second-order climate beliefs: the beliefs that we hold about the climate beliefs of others.

You can read the Jost piece here. You can also read the British Journal of Political Science article that the news piece is based on here.