One such analog is in the public health field, in which information has been used in efforts to promote numerous kinds of healthy behaviors, including cessation of cigarette smoking, change in diet to reduce fat and add fiber, and reduction of behaviors that increase the risk of infection by the human immunodeficiency virus (e.g., Green, 1984; Green et al., 1986; Becker and Rosenstock, 1989; Green and Kreuter, 1990; Aggleton et al., 1994). Another analog exists in energy and environmental policy, in which information has been an important element of efforts to promote energy conservation, recycling, and other so-called proenvironmental behaviors by individuals and households and hundreds of empirical studies have been examined to learn their lessons (e.g., National Research Council, 1984; Katzev and Johnson, 1987; Lutzenhiser, 1993; Gardner and Stern, 1996).
A third analog is in the area of disaster warning, in which information is used, for example, to induce people to construct tornado shelters, raise levees, and protect their lives and property from oncoming storms (Mileti and Sorenson, 1987, 1990; Mileti et al., 1992). Contemporary disaster warning systems based on improved capabilities in prediction and forecasting have dramatically reduced the loss of life and injuries from all hazards in the United States, including climatic hazards. A fourth analog, commonly called risk communication, involves the design and distribution of messages about public health, safety, and environmental hazards that are designed to generate levels of concern and behavior change considered appropriate by those designing the messages (e.g., National Research Council, 1989). Because of certain issues raised by risk communication research, we return to this topic only at the end of this section.
The "green revolution" in agriculture, which developed knowledge and technology as well as spreading information, attempted to induce farmers to adopt new seeds and cultural practices in order to dramatically increase grain production. It shares some of the distinctive features of climate forecasting and is particularly interesting because it induced farmers to do things they may also do in response to climate forecasts. The experience of the green revolution may therefore also yield hypotheses worth systematic examination in the context of climate forecasting. This experience is summarized in Box 4-1.
Each of these analogs shares most of the distinctive characteristics of climate forecasts information listed above. In each field, there have been numerous studies of the effectiveness of information and of the systems for delivering it, and reliable concepts and methods have been developed for conducting studies to assess how scientific information is interpreted