In a wide-ranging conversation, Dr. Leiserowitz discusses insights from the study of public risk perceptions and underscores for communicators the importance of appreciating that decision-making about risk involves more than a rational process. People’s perceptions are also influenced by emotions, images, values, and experiences which they feel to be related. And he highlights just how big a change to the global economy adapting to climate change will bring: “We are talking about changing the energy foundations of modern civilization. Everything that we do, the buildings we live in, the cars we drive, the food we eat, . . the clothes you’re wearing, are all fundamentally infused at some point in their production with fossil fuel use. . . And so, we’re talking about having to re-engineer the entire global economy to a non-carbon future. That is an enormous task. And yet, it presents enormous profitable opportunities. And that’s why some of the world’s largest companies are scrambling and moving very, very fast and investing literally billions of dollars into trying to find those solutions. Because that’s ultimately what we have to do.”

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