E. F. Bloomfield, "Communication Strategies for Engaging Climate Skeptics" (Routledge, 2019)


Not all Christians are anti-science or climate change deniers; on the contrary, the intersection of climate change and Christianity ranges from deniers to bargainers to harmonizers. On this episode of the New Books Network, Dr. Lee Pierce (she/they) interviews Dr. Emma Frances Bloomfield (she) about this intersection and how different segments of Christians talk about climate change and how others can use communication to engage them.

While existing studies have discussed environmentalism as a factor within the religious community, Communication Strategies for Engaging Climate Skeptics (Routledge, 2019) positions religion as an important factor in environmentalism and focuses on how identities play a role in environmental conversation. Rather than thinking of religious skeptics as a single unified group, Emma Frances Bloomfield argues that it is essential to recognize there are different types of skeptics so that we can better tailor our communication strategies to engage with them on issues of the environment and climate change. To do so, this work breaks skeptics down into three main types: "separators," "bargainers," and "harmonizers." The book questions monolithic understandings of climate skepticism and considers how competing narratives such as religion, economics, and politics play a large role in climate communication. Considering recent political moves to remove climate change from official records and withdraw from international environmental agreements, it is imperative now more than ever to offer practical solutions to academics, practitioners, and the public to change the conversation. To address these concerns, this book provides both a theoretical examination of the rhetoric of religious climate skeptics and concrete strategies for engaging the religious community in conversations about the environment.

We hope you enjoyed listening as much as we enjoyed chatting about this fascinating book. Connect with your host, Lee Pierce, on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook for interview previews, the best book selfies, and new episode alerts.

Thanks to Emma Frances Bloomfield for joining us today on New Books Network. Dr. Bloomfield is an Assistant Professor of Communication Studies at University of Las Vegas Nevada (UNLV) and can be contacted at emma.bloomfield@unlv.edu.

Your Host

Lee Pierce

Lee M. Pierce (she/they) is an Assistant Professor at SUNY Geneseo specializing in rhetoric, race, and U.S. political culture. They also host the Media & Communications and Language channels for New Books Network and their own podcast titled RhetoricLee Speaking.
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