A study coming out of the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication has some interesting insights into methods of communication that might work with Republicans:
Efficacy—the belief that individuals can make a difference in climate change—positively predicted both belief and attitudes. . . . It is thus highly likely—though perhaps at first counterintuitive—that enhancing a sense of personal empowerment may be an effective communication strategy to spur belief in climate change…
Trust in scientists and belief in a scientific consensus on the reality of climate change both proved to be key positive predictors of belief and attitudes among Republicans.. . . This suggests that a communication plan based around a core message of scientific consensus would have broad applicability across political audience segments.
Beyond the specifics, the study is also a good reminder that we can’t persuade people if we don’t try to communicate with them. Some people are clearly beyond persuasion because they are not only wrong but deeply certain that they know everything they need to know. But not everyone falls into that category, and we should not write off large groups as being beyond the call of reason, simply because many members of the group have closed minds.
Let’s not stereotype. Not every Republican is a Rick Santorum or a James Inhofe.