At a Glance
Several new communications and outreach initiatives are being conducted within and alongside CMI, designed to provide various audiences with information about the climate problem and potential solutions in ways that enhance participation.
The outreach component of the Integration and Outreach Group has three targets: our sponsors at BP; the Princeton University community; and the larger world of government, business, and civil society (including the major environmental non-governmental organizations).
Outreach to CMI sponsors takes the form of tailored summaries of CMI research and inputs to BP publications, designed to stimulate and augment BP’s engagement with climate change issues. In 2014, emphasis was placed on communicating insight into climate variability, in an ongoing project led by Stephen Pacala that draws heavily on the expertise of Princeton’s neighbor, the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, one of the two major global climate modeling centers in the U.S.
Outreach at Princeton aims to broaden the faculty’s involvement with climate change. One example is the newly created Climate Futures Initiative, co-led by Melissa Lane (Professor of Politics), Marc Fleurbaey (Professor in Economics and Humanistic Studies, Professor of Public Affairs), and Robert Socolow. The initiative focuses on “climate and ethics.” It evaluates and contrasts normative and positive concepts and methodologies now being used in analyses of the future, especially as that future is affected by climate change. The project is an outgrowth of a three-year (2011-2014) project, Communicating Uncertainty: Science, Institutions, and Ethics in the Politics of Global Climate Change, sponsored by the Princeton Institute for international and Regional Studies.
Outreach to the wider world is achieved through the participation of CMI researchers in numerous venues. Michael Oppenheimer played major roles in the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). He served as a coordinating lead author of Chapter 19 of the Working Group II report, a member of the writing team for the Summary for Policy Makers of that report, and a member of the core writing team of the Synthesis Report, forming the ultimate piece of the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report. Pacala chairs the board of Climate Central, a non-profit organization in Princeton dedicated to providing the public and policy-makers with clear and objective information on climate change trends and impacts. He is also a board member of the Environmental Defense Fund. Socolow is on the advisory board of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Socolow also leads the “distillate project” of Princeton’s Andlinger Center of Energy and the Environment. Aimed at interested non-experts, the project prepares introductions to specific low-carbon technologies. The first distillate, completed in 2014, addresses grid-scale electricity storage and intermittent renewable energy.