standing how and why climate change is occurring) at one end to social change that will reduce societal impacts on the climate at the opposite end, with stewardship somewhere in between. At a more fine-grained scale, the goals of climate change education include improving understanding of climate-related issues (e.g., climate systems, climate change, and the impacts of climate change), raising awareness of the potential strategies for limiting the impacts of climate change, encouraging specific action to minimize human impacts and adapt to the changing climate, and helping individuals and groups to make climate-friendly choices. Bowman gave an example of a simple educational metaphor (a thermometer that describes what is likely to occur at various average increases in global temperature) to illustrate how complexity can be reduced in ways that allow general audiences to grasp the seriousness of the climate threat.
William Spitzer echoed the idea that the goals of climate change fall along a continuum, adding that climate literacy is different from other kinds of literacy in that understanding climate has become a politically charged issue. Therefore, stewardship education becomes a “battle for hearts and minds” of the public, with the goals to encourage long-term intergenerational change in what people fundamentally believe in and do. The realization that there is only so much that individuals and communities can accomplish within any given time results in a common sentiment, expressed by many participants at the workshop, that there is a need for a social change movement based on basic values and behaviors congruent with a more climate-friendly culture and economy.
During the session, some participants identified the existence of a split between goals that are focused on education about climate change and options to address it (cognitive and behavior change) and goals that are related to intention and seek to motivate individuals and groups to take action (whatever that may be). Many participants found it difficult to bridge the divide between cognitive- and action-oriented goals. Several questions around this issue were raised but not answered:
• Why do we want people to know something if we do not expect them to act on that knowledge?
• Why do we expect people to act if they do not know why action is needed or what actions will address the issue?
• What is the connection between cognition and action? How does the connection between cognition and action relate to beliefs and values?
• Where is the line between education for increased capacity and advocacy in the area of climate change?