The Public and Its Climate: Exploring the Relationship Between Public Discourse and Opinion on Global Warming Academic Article uri icon


  • 2016, Copyright Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. We use original data from a national public opinion survey to analyze the relationships between citizens engagement in public discourse on climate change and their beliefs about the existence of anthropogenic climate change and support for climate change-oriented policies. We find that engagement in discourse is positively associated with strong beliefs affirming the reality of climate change. We also find that engagement in public discourse is strongly associated with strength of opinion on both sides of the debate on climate change-oriented policy preferences, suggesting an association between public discourse and polarization. The results will be of interest to scholars of deliberative and discursive democracy and climate communication proponents who advocate for increased public discussion of the complex policy issues.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Shreck, B., & Vedlitz, A.

citation count

  • 4

complete list of authors

  • Shreck, Brian||Vedlitz, Arnold

publication date

  • May 2016