Mother Nature knows best when it comes to climate solutions, social media users say

December 22, 2023

A survey of more than a million social media posts suggests that people feel more positive about Nature's ability to solve climate change than human technology, according to new research published in the journal Global Environmental Change. Researchers analysing 1.5 million posts on X (formerly Twitter) using the latest artificial intelligence-driven language models found expressions of “disgust” and “fear” related to the term “geoengineering”, which is often associated with radical technology such as spraying aerosols into the atmosphere or solar space sails. But posts about nature-based efforts to protect carbon-storing ecosystems like rainforests, kelp forests under the sea and peat bogs offered more positive expressions such as “joy”, according to researchers from the University of Cambridge, the Mercator Research Institute, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) and Boston University. “Social media provides an opportunity to tap into the ocean of thoughts and feelings people are sharing in public conversations about emerging technologies,” said co-author and Assistant Professor Ramit Debnath, a Cambridge Zero Fellow at the University of Cambridge. “Governments and global organisations need to consider how the voting public will engage with proposed solutions of climate action.”

A survey of more than a million social media posts suggests that people feel more positive about Nature's ability to solve climate change than human technology, according to new research published in the journal Global Environmental Change.

Researchers analysing 1.5 million posts on X (formerly Twitter) using the latest artificial intelligence-driven language models found expressions of “disgust” and “fear” related to the term “geoengineering”, which is often associated with radical technology such as spraying aerosols into the atmosphere or solar space sails.

But posts about nature-based efforts to protect carbon-storing ecosystems like rainforests, kelp forests under the sea and peat bogs offered more positive expressions such as “joy”, according to researchers from the University of Cambridge, the Mercator Research Institute, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) and Boston University.

“Social media provides an opportunity to tap into the ocean of thoughts and feelings people are sharing in public conversations about emerging technologies,” said co-author and Assistant Professor Ramit Debnath, a Cambridge Zero Fellow at the University of Cambridge.

Governments and global organisations need to consider how the voting public will engage with proposed solutions of climate action.”  

The source of this news is from University of Cambridge

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