Photo: Monica Medina

Yesterday, Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Earl Blumenauer, along with Senator Bernie Sanders announced the introduction of what Blumenauer characterized as the “prelude to the Green New Deal” — a resolution declaring that climate change is a national emergency that “demands a “national, social, industrial, and economic mobilization of the resources and labor of the United States” in order to “restore the climate for future generations.”  Interestingly, we should all talk about the climate crisis with friend and family, because a new study published yesterday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that discussing global warming “leads people to learn influential facts, such as the scientific consensus that human-caused global warming is happening,” and accept them as true. Meanwhile, climate activist and billionaire Tom Steyer decided to join the Democratic field in the race for the Presidency today, presumably to talk about the climate crisis, and will spend $100m of his own dollars to do it.  

Why This Matters:  These news items perfectly explain why we write Our Daily Planet each day.  We hope that by discussing the news surrounding issues like the climate and extinction crises, we encourage our readers to share these stories and help us reach and persuade more people that we all need to and can take actions to save the planet.  We hope to be writing more about the climate crisis as a result of Steyer’s entry into the race.  But regardless, this new study only stiffens our resolve to keep up our work.  We want to make your job easier, so here’s a thought — by clicking here you could sign up as many people as possible to receive Our Daily Planet directly in their inbox each day – that might make these climate conversations easier.  Admittedly, this is a shameless plug for the Our Daily Planet email.  But now you know that if you sign up your friends, family, and co-workers, it is scientifically proven to make a difference!

The Climate Emergency Resolution

  • In describing the resolution, Representative Blumenauer said “the national emergency is not at the border, it the climate,” and added that it is “past time” for Congress to take a stand on the issue.
  • Senator Sanders echoed this sentiment saying, “climate is a national emergency and we need to act accordingly.”
  • Representative Ocasio-Cortez said the climate crisis is also a “political crisis” that will require “political will to preserve our way or life and our planet.”

Climate Conversations

  • The study found a strong feedback loop when it comes to talking about climate change.  The stronger the perceptions of scientific agreement around climate, the greater the tendency is to increase beliefs that climate change is happening and human-caused, as well as worry about climate change. When assessing the reverse causal direction, we find that knowing the scientific consensus further leads to increases in global warming conversations.

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