We review findings from social psychology and related fields to examine the bidirectional relationship between the public—what are their views about climate change and the need for policies to address the climate crisis—and the politicians who are making (or not making) climate policy and beholden to electoral constraints. We illustrate social psychological pressures that influence policy support and their relevance to how policies emerge from coordinated action and how barriers impede policy progress. We review two factors that have been the focus of research within communication, political science, and psychology and that are relevant to how climate policies are promoted (or undermined): activists and the media. We examine the process by which activists amplify and transmit the preferences of the public to politicians, and how research on persuasion and social norms helps understand how this effect can be amplified or diminished. We also describe how the media environment can amplify or diminish the roles of the public and the politicians in influencing each other. As the world confronts the climate crisis, research from social psychologists, environmental psychologists, political scientists, and communication scholars has examined the interrelations between the public, politicians, media, and activists, but largely in a disconnected way. The current paper provides a social psychological framework to integrate these approaches and, in so doing, suggest new directions for research and theory-guided ways to influence policy around climate change.