need to coordinate climate education efforts. Moreover, he interpreted the many activities around climate change as the sign of a changing cultural dialogue in which, despite the controversies and challenges, society is slowly moving toward the realization that the issue of climate change needs collective attention.
Storksdieck noted that as the community reaches out to different audiences, it is important not to lose sight of core audiences. He emphasized the need to grow from a base and connect with an increasingly larger number of people who share common values and beliefs. He continued by noting the limits of education in addressing climate change and that incentive systems, infrastructure, and culture provide powerful determinants for personal behavior. Referring to previous remarks by Heimlich, Storksdieck noted that much of people’s behavior and actions occurs subconsciously, unconsciously, as habit or ritual, and that informed decision making is not primarily guiding how people behave in everyday life. He closed with what he saw as important realization: in addressing climate change, there is no single strategy, approach, or community.
Stern, in reflecting on the goals of the workshop, focused on ideas of quality, legitimacy, and capacity. In his view, climate change education should lead to “good-quality decisions,” based on wide acceptance of the science and an increasing “capability to do decisions well in the future.” He noted that the workshop focused on today’s decision makers, but that a future workshop might tackle the education of the next generation of citizens through formal and informal education.
He noted the value of bringing together communities with different goals and audiences. As the workshop demonstrated, interesting and fruitful learning may occur when different sub-communities of the larger climate change community interact with one another. To Stern the workshop suggested a variety of near-future priorities that federal agencies and private foundations could focus on, including solid evaluation research on climate change education projects based on clearly defined indicators for various goals.
Michael Feder (Board on Science Education) closed the workshop by pointing to the value of building a climate change education community that sees itself connected to the various communities it serves based on shared values and common ground.