One of the extraordinary challenges humans are facing today is climate change and over the past two decades, the majority of the world has moved from questioning its legitimacy to accepting it as fact. With most people having accepted climate change as a reality, the goal of climate communication has shifted from spreading awareness to motivating audiences to take action. Through this analytical discussion, we will look into effective and ineffective methods of rhetoric as it can help guide us to a better understanding of why certain rhetoric that has previously been successful in other fields may not be the best fit for this one. Given the ramifications and complexity of the climate crisis, specific and meticulous steps need to be taken to ensure a given audience receives accurate climate information while still feeling hopeful and competent in addressing the issue. Common rhetorical tactics such as fear appeals and ethos are powerful in many circumstances but leave people feeling hopeless and helpless in discussions of climate change. Through an analytical exploration of survey data, research findings, and content analysis this paper seeks to address how climate communication should be approached.


Spring 2024




Climate Communication


Dr. Armeda Reitzel

Citation Style




To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.