Politicians of areas most vulnerable to climate change are most quiet about it on social media

According to a study by Cornell University, politicians of areas most susceptible to climate change are the quietest about it on social media.

In a study published in Social Media + Society, researchers examined more than 1.1 million tweets sent by over 600 politicians in the United States pertaining to climate change.

From the study: “Using data reflecting the risks faced and opinions held by their constituents, the extent to which politicians lead—tweeting about climate change for those most at risk, called trusteeship—or follow—tweeting about climate change for those who are already concerned, called playing to the crowed—is examined.”

“Results reveal that while Democrats generally tweet about climate change more often than Republicans, within each party, tweeting frequency is mostly explained by the level of concern in a politicians’ constituency. Objective risks faced by constituents play no role,” the study also states.

“Analysis of the tweets shows the politicians’ unequal engagement leads to over-representations of some topics (e.g., “calls for action”) and under-representations of other topics (e.g., criticizing fossil fuels and deniers).”

The study was published online on July 19th, 2021.