2021 Redford Center Stories “Best Of” Montage

The Redford Center

Listen to the youth. This montage of some of the 400 short films submitted for annual youth filmmaking challenge is an urgent call for climate justice. Speaking in plain language and using simple-yet-creative graphics, these youth offer a fresh perspective on the climate crisis. Many of their messages are about what can be achieved through working together. Their honesty, directness and positivity have the potential to compel a wide variety of audiences to join them.             

A question of morals? The role of moral identity in support of the youth climate movement Fridays4Future

Antonia Misch, Susanne Kristen-Antonow, and Markus Paulus, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitat Munchen. PLoS ONE.

When drumming up support for a movement, remind people of their moral identity - that is, the extent to which they feel that moral traits (such as being fair, caring, and kind) are important to who they are as a person. This survey study finds that the strength of an individual's moral identity is significantly associated with their support for an emerging youth climate movement, Fridays4Future. However, given that this study uses a convenience sample of German adults and focuses on a highly polarizing social movement in Europe, caution should be taken when generalizing this result to the U.S.             

Poll: Young Americans Want to Do More to Address Climate; Support for Civilian Climate Corps, Environmental Justice Initiatives

Student Conservation Association

A broad majority young Americans understand anthropogenic climate change, but many are struggling to identify individual practices they can take to improve global sustainability, according to a survey of 15-25 year olds on climate change, environmental justice, and related public policy initiatives.

  • 38% call climate change a crisis, 31% say it’s a problem, 12% a concern, 9% a non-issue, and 8% label it fiction.
  • While 44% of young Americans are either "very" (21%) or "somewhat" (23%) optimistic the world will successfully address climate change, 47% are either "somewhat" (12%) or "very" (25%) pessimistic
  • Respodents expressed a strong desire to do their part in mitigating climate change, but many were unsure how:
  • 27% of respondents say they have reduced their usage of single-use plastics, 14% take alternate transportation, and 12% have curtailed electrical use. Another 14% have participated in a march or protest, and 10% have volunteered to create change. 67% have shared climate information on social media. (89% report they get the majority of their news from social media.)
  • 67% of respondents report they do not believe U.S. residents are equally protected against exposure to pollution and other ecological hazards and 37% characterize environmental justice in the U.S. as "extremely inequitable."
  • The survey also found significant support for many of President Biden’s environmental actions.

Youth climate audiences tipsheet

Climate Advocacy Lab

The end of the 2010s also marked the rise of the youth activist in American politics, and nowhere has that impact been felt more than in the climate movement. Whether it’s been Greta Thunberg of Fridays for the Future, Varshini Prakash of the Sunrise Movement, or youth activists at your neighborhood school, young people have leapt into the fray as powerful moral and policy-minded leaders in the fight for climate action. Check out this tipsheet to learn more about what drives youth climate activist, the cultural context they arise from, and ways to support and grow their power.

Poll: Gen Z Largely Believes Climate Change Is Inevitable, Though Roughly Half Think It Can Be Slowed

Morning Consult

26% of Gen Zers think humans can stop climate change in its tracks while roughly half (49%) believe that the phenomenon can be slowed (but not stopped).

Gen Z expresses concern about climate at statistically the same rate as the general population, with 73% saying they are “very” or “somewhat” concerned about the impact of climate change on the environment.

When asked about their interest in pursuing a career in various sectors of the energy industry, Gen Zers are most interested in solar (50%) and wind energy (43%).

Poll: Majority of US Adults Believe Climate Change Is Most Important Issue Today

The Harris Poll for American Psychological Association
  • More than half of U.S. adults (56%) say climate change is the most important issue facing society today, with 6 in 10 saying they have changed a behavior to reduce their contribution to climate change. Nearly three-quarters (72%) say they are very or somewhat motivated to make changes. 

Survey: The Youth Climate Summit is full of young activists trained in the anti-Trump movement

Dana Fisher, University of Maryland. The Washington Post

A quarter of young U.S. climate activists reported that their first experience protesting was as part of one of the large marches protesting the Trump administration and its policies, according to surveys collected from participants in the global "Fridays for the Future" strikes around the world -- including 220 students living in the U.S. 44% say they participated in the "March for Our Lives" protest against gun violence and more than 40% reported attending one (or both) of the Women's Marches. 

Poll: Global consumers seek companies that care about environmental issues

Conference Board for the Nielsen Company

68% of North Americans are "extremely” or “very concerned” about water pollution and 61% are "extremely” or “very concerned” about air pollution. Subsequently, 69% of North Americans consider it "extremely" or "very important" that companies implement programs to improve the environment. Across the global, concern is highest among Millennials (21-34), with 85% considering it “extremely” or “very” important that companies implement programs to improve the environment. 

Poll: Millennials prioritize energy as a core issue for 2018

Public Opinion Strategies for American Conservative Coalition and Conservative Energy Network

According to a recent poll of 400 18-24 year-old likely conservative voters, 58% said they would be less likely to vote for a candidate who opposes the development and use of clean energy, and  74% favor a system that allows people to choose where they purchase electricity and what kind of electricity they use, such as clean energy.  69% of respondents also  believe that America can create a new electricity system that benefits the environment, accelerates new technology, and creates more choice by opening up electric markets to competition.

Poll: Global Warming Age Gap: Younger Americans Most Worried

RJ Reinhart, Gallup

70% of Americans age 18 to 34 worry about global warming, compared with 62% of Americans age 35 to 54 and 56% who are age 55 and older. The biggest generational gap is visible in the belief that global warming will pose a serious threat in one’s own lifetime – 51% of Americans age 18 to 24 versus 29% age 55 or older, reflecting the different timeframes involved for each age group. The second largest generational gap is around the belief that global warming is caused by human activities – 75% of Americans age 18 to 24 believe that, versus 55% age 55 or older.