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Data reveals that about half of Americans said they would sign a petition about global warming, but only 15% said they have done so at least once in the past year.
Meanwhile, about 30% of Americans say they are “definitely” or “probably” willing to join a campaign to get elected officials to act to reduce global warming, but only 1% of Americans say they are currently participating in this kind of effort.
Why This Matters: This study is in line with other analyses showing that while Americans will tell a pollster they’re concerned about climate change, it’s not necessarily a voting or lifestyle priority. A Gallup poll released in September 2020 found that 55% of the public found climate change either very important or extremely important, a small percentage in relationship with voters’ concerns about foreign affairs (74%), immigration (65%), or abortion (61%). A Pew poll conducted around the same time suggested that voters ranked climate 11th out of 12 issues.
As Yale explained, “Overall, these findings have important practical implications for climate change communication. Although Americans are increasingly convinced that climate change is a serious problem that requires large-scale action, relatively few are demanding that leaders act.” More effective communication could help Americans turn their concern into tangible action.
Harnessing the Power of the “Alarmed”
The report split the population into six groups, with different levels of fear about climate change: the “Alarmed” (24%), the “Concerned” (30%), the “Cautious” (19%), the “Disengaged” (5%), the “Doubtful” (12%), and the “Dismissive” (10%).
From there, the researchers identified three groups within the “Alarmed:” the Active (34%), Willing (46%), and Inactive (20%). The report emphasizes that mobilizing the “Willing Alarmed” and the “Inactive Alarmed” could be a productive mode of inspiring climate action.
While just 17% are participating in a campaign to fight climate change now, but an additional 77% say they are willing to— leaving a great opportunity to train and deploy these willing individuals.
By Amy Lupica, ODP Daily Editor In May, President Biden ordered government agencies to evaluate and develop a plan to mitigate the risk that climate change presents to the US economy. Last week, the administration released a first-of-its-kind roadmap to building a climate-resilient economy. The 40-page report was announced Friday and lays out concrete government-wide […]
By Natasha Lasky, ODP Staff Writer As the earth’s temperature skyrockets, so will the demand to beat the heat with air conditioning. While access to cooler air is yet another example of climate inequity, a new study published in Nature found that people in lower-income countries may also have to pay much more than those […]
According to a new study published in Nature Climate Change, 85% of the global population is feeling the impacts of human-induced climate change. Meanwhile, the world’s most emitting nations are also some of its wealthiest but have lagged on taking decisive climate action as developing countries bear the brunt of climate fallout. If high emitters don’t step up to lead the charge […]
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