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Friday, May 23, 2008

ARCUS: 2008 Arctic Forum, May 13, Washington, DC

This post is to provide a link to the abstracts of the studies presented at the Arctic Forum:

Here is a sample of one of the "softer" articles:

Public Perceptions of Climate Tipping Point Information:

The Case of Santa Barbara

Bruce Caron1
1The New Media Studio, New Media Research Institute, 417 Samarkand Drive, Santa Barbara, CA, 93105, USA, Phone 805-568-0115, Fax 805-966-1100,

This talk will outline lessons learned from a public-art-based climate-change awareness/education project. In the summer of 2006 a group of Santa Barbara, California residents decided to catalyze public awareness of the future impacts of human-induced climate change (HICC) by marking these future impacts on the built environment. Marking the future impacts of HICC on the local scene would provide a daily reminder of the future impacts of current energy use choices. The hope was that awareness would lead to personal motivations to help stop HICC. The group decided that the best story to tell would be the tipping point for the melting of the ice sheet on Greenland. After a year of public meetings, the City Council approved the "lightblueline" project. Teams of volunteers would paint the seven-meter elevation contour (the amount of sea-level rise held in the Greenland ice sheet) on city streets. An anti-lightblueline effort, led by the local daily newspaper, succeeded in stalling the installation of these markings by feeding public fears about declining property values while fostering uncertainty about the science of climate change. The idea of anthropogenic climate tipping points was termed a "belief." Arguments that climate change was still being debated by scientists and that current climate models are inadequate sidelined the main conversation. Timescale factors played a part: any effect beyond, say, fifty years acquired insignificance in the face of current problems. Opponents spent twenty times the resources of the group to delay the project.

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