Ingredients for a hopeful message: Boost efficacy (self, collective, response), give reasons we are likely to try (and succeed) in tackling climate change, and insure people (already) think climate change is important. Research indicates that news media coverage of climate change in the United States has emphasized the harms of warming more so than potential solutions, or what is known as “the hope gap” . It is thus not surprising that many express a feeling of fatalism or helplessness in the face of climate change. This dissertation develops a theory of hope as it pertains to social issues and applies it to climate change, develops a more in-depth set of measures of the emotion of hope in response to climate change than previous researchers. Results support the validity of the concept and measurement of climate change hope. Novel insights, such as identifying a sub-population of apparent stoic optimists who persist in feeling hopeful about climate change despite their intense skepticism that humanity will succeed in rising to the challenge.
Communicating Hope about Societal Issues: The Case of Climate Change