A group of climate scientists who are mothers are using their scientific and maternal experiences to help demystify climate change and bring scientific facts into homes across the country.
Members of Science Moms, the nonpartisan group of six climate scientists from research universities across the country, created a website and will launch a national $10 million advertising campaign to bring climate change facts to homes across the country.
Prof. Katherine Hayhoe, a climate scientist at Texas Tech University and Science Mom, said the group hopes to cut through the noise surrounding climate change by providing short, bite-sized educational content and resources that explain the science behind climate change.
“We want to do what we do best as scientists and moms, which is provide the information and the resources people need in a way that we, as moms, can process, understand, and feel comfortable sharing as we have conversations with people at every level about why this matters, whether we’re talking to our kids or their teachers, the people we work with, people we know in the community, friends, family or church,” Hayhoe said during a press conference announcing the campaign.
The Science Moms teamed up with the Potential Energy Coalition, a nonpartisan coalition of advertising agencies dedicated to “shifting the narrative” on climate change, to design a website and a series of advertisements that explains what climate change is and how it works and tells the story of some of the Science Moms.
One ad tells the story of Dr. Emily Fischer, a mother of two and atmospheric chemist at Colorado State University. Fischer and her family experienced the Cameron Peak Fire, Colorado’s largest wildfire in recorded history.
“From the second you have a child you want to do everything you can to protect them. I think our action on climate change is no different. It’s just an extension of being a mom,” she said in the ad.
Another ad features Dr. Melissa Burt, research scientist at Colorado State University’s Department of Atmospheric Sciences, and her daughter, Mia
“You don’t have to be a climate scientist to want to protect the earth. As moms, we care about our children and the environment they grow up in. And for Mia, I want you to know that I worked really hard to be a part of the change and to make it a better place for you,” Burt said in the ad.
The remaining ads manage to summarize the concept and cause of climate change in 30 seconds and the massive amount of research behind that conclusion.
Prof. Joellen Russell, Science Mom and climate scientist at the University of Arizona, said the group is focusing on providing simple, straightforward information that breaks down climate change science into a more digestible size.
“My great aunt was the first woman engineer at Boeing, and she helped us get through World War II. I keep thinking to myself, “What more can I do? How can I call to all my sister moms who have been helping me raise my two beautiful babies, who I adore,” said Russell. “I don’t want my kids or potential grandbabies to think that their mom or grandma didn’t go all the way to the mat for their futures.”
Potential Energy Coalition Chairman and CEO John Marshall said analytical data collected while crafting the campaign indicates their message will be successful across the political spectrum. They will put their data to the test by advertising heavily in the Midwest, the South and the Sun Belt.
The organizations’ message may find fertile ground in Indiana, where a recent Indiana University Environmental Resilience Institute survey found that a vast majority of Hoosiers believe climate change is happening now and that Hoosiers are currently experiencing climate change impacts.
The Hoosier Life Survey found that 75% of Hoosiers believe climate change is happening, with about 80% of those Hoosiers stating they believe climate change is at least partly caused by human activity.
The survey also found that the more Hoosiers heard about climate change in the media, the more likely they were to correctly recognize that an overwhelming majority of scientists believe and can prove that climate change is happening and is caused by humans.
“What’s super exciting about this campaign is that we’re connecting with people,” said Burt. “I think our message is that parents and moms should feel more confident about what they know about climate change and how they can use their voice and spark a conversation with fellow moms, and, collectively, we can protect our kids’ future.”