When communicating climate change, beware the “boomerang effect”

September 8, 2011

A recent study looking at Republican American’s reactions to climate change found that climate-related events that were in distant places received little in the way of support or empathy. In fact, when Republicans were asked to support climate change initiatives based on disasters happening in distant places they were found to be more steadfast in their refusal to participate. This has been called the “boomerang effect.” The study is useful in that in shows that messaging around climate change should take into account the beliefs and ideologies of various groups and develop messaging accordingly. Scientists cannot expect everyone to react to far off disasters with empathy or interest. 

Read report here.