Social Scientists Try to Break the Climate-Change Impasse

Social Scientists Seek Ways Past Clash Over Climate Change 1

Paul Souders, Danita Delimont Photography, Newscom

Some Americans see global warming as a distant problem, "for polar bears or smaller islands in the middle of the ocean. Not for me, my town, or my community," says a Yale scientist.

Kari Marie Norgaard has a folder full of hate mail.

It started coming in when Ms. Norgaard, an associate professor of sociology and environmental studies at the University of Oregon, spoke in March at a London conference titled "Planet Under Pressure 2012."

Rush Limbaugh, the radio commentator, and a global-warming skeptics' Web site called Climate Depot got hold of a news release describing a presentation about those not taking action to ease climate change: "Resistance at