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Narrative: The Climate-Ocean Connection
Key frame elements embedded in this narrative
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Narrative: The Climate-Ocean Connection
Key frame elements
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Frames to advance: 

These frame elements are based on research conducted by the FrameWorks Institute in collaboration with marine scientists and informal science education institutions.

  • To provide a collective orientation to the topic, this narrative opens with an appeal to the Value of Protection, which focuses on the idea that we have a duty to keep the ecosystems we depend on safe from harm.
  • To help the public better appreciate the vital role of the ocean in the story of climate change, the narrative includes the Explanatory Metaphor Climate’s Heart, which focuses attention on the ocean’s role in moving heat and moisture throughout the climate system. This metaphor has been shown to make ocean issues a more salient, more prioritized issue for the public.
  • To fill in the public’s understanding about the challenge that fossil fuels present to the ocean and the climate, the narrative includes the tested Explanatory Metaphor Heat-Trapping Blanket.
  • To build public understanding that shifting to non-emitting forms of energy is both essential and feasible, the narrative uses Visuals, Explanatory Examples, and Social Math when introducing two possible Solutions (wind and solar energy). This dense combination of framing techniques powerfully redirects the public away from a sense of fatalism and toward the more productive understanding that change is possible. 

Frames to avoid: This interpretation purposefully stays away from these themes

  • Individual Actions. The American public is already exposed to a steady stream of messages about individual actions they can take in their daily lives. The Visualizing Change narratives focus on information encountered less frequently: civic and collective responses.
  • Climate vs. Weather. Making the distinction between the two isn’t as helpful as teaching the connection between the two.
  • The phrases “greenhouse gases” or “greenhouse effect” are studiously avoided. The more effective alternatives of Regular vs. Rampant CO2 and Heat-Trapping Blanket are used instead.
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