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Found 211 Resources

Indigenous Principles of Just Transition

Just Transition is a framework for a fair shift to an economy that is ecologically sustainable, equitable and just. A Just Transition requires us to build an economy for life in a way that is very different than the economy we are in now. This calls for strategies that democratize, decentralize and diversify economic activity while we damper down consumption, and redistribute resources and power. As Just Transition is becoming popular with different theories, practices and approaches, the Indigenous Environmental Network felt the need to compile a set of Indigenous-based principles of what Just Transition means to Indigenous peoples in North America-Turtle Island. These principles fall into three categories, with several principles further elaborated under each of the following sections:

  1. Responsibility & relationship
  2. Sovereignty
  3. Transformation for Action

The Indigenous Principles of Just Transition are a result of a process created to remember the contributions of the many tribal voices of Indigenous Peoples that came to the Protecting Mother Earth Conferences that started in 1990 and continued to 2010. It is only a guide "for Indigenous peoples – our American Indian, Alaska Natives and the Canadian First Nations, and other Indigenous Peoples of the four-directions of Mother Earth – to use, if you chose to re-build your Nation and community."

Indigenous Environmental Network | 10/31/19

Poll: Americans would rather reduce oil and gas exploration than ‘drill, baby, drill’

A large majority of Americans say drilling for oil and natural gas off the coasts and on public lands should decrease or remain at current levels (more than 8 in 10 people), a viewpoint at odds with the expansion promoted by President Trump as part of his “energy dominance” agenda. Just over half said energy exploration should be reduced on federal lands (51 percent) and said it should be reduced offshore (53 percent). Thirty-two percent said it should stay as is on... Read More

Washington Post and Kaiser Family Foundation | 10/25/19

Iowa Voters Support Climate Action

Large majorities of Iowa voters want their elected officials to reduce global warming and increase clean, renewable energy, and are worried about climate change, having experienced the impacts of extreme weather. These concerns translate to support for candidates backing specific policies (poll toplines are available here). 

Strong majorities say they are more likely to vote for a candidate who supports:

  • extending government funding for renewables (77%), 
  • requiring the U.S. to generate 100% of its energy from renewable sources by 2050 (73%), 
  • setting stronger fuel efficiency standards (72%), and 
  • requiring fossil fuel companies to pay a tax on carbon pollution (66%).

More than two-thirds of registered voters (69%) say they are worried about climate change, and say it is having an effect on Iowa’s agriculture (74%), extreme weather in the state (71%), its economy (59%) and Iowans’ health (58%). And as a result of the historic floods that devastated parts of the Midwest this year, roughly a quarter of Iowans (27%) say they or someone in their family has experienced property damage or other economic hardships as a result of flooding or severe storm damage in the past 12 months.

Iowans are likewise concerned about the impacts climate change is having on health and safety:

  • More than three-quarters (79%) say pollution of rivers, lakes, and streams is a serious problem in their area, and 77% also say extreme weather such as heavy rainfall and flooding is a serious problem.
  • Nearly two-thirds (66%) worry that floods could expose and damage oil and gas pipelines, causing pollution to rivers and other bodies of water.

 Similar large majorities of Iowans favor policies to address climate change and its impacts, and support increased generation of renewable energy.

  • Seven in 10 Iowa voters (70%) say they favor more government action to address climate change.
  • More than three-quarters (76%) support a policy to require Iowa to generate 100% of its energy from renewable sources (RPS) by 2050.
  • Eight in 10 voters (80%) support extending government funding for renewables, such as wind and solar. 
  • More than three-quarters (77%) say new infrastructure projects should be built to withstand extreme weather, even if it comes at a higher cost to taxpayers.

Iowans believe policies like switching to 100% renewable energy will benefit their state, with majorities saying it will have a positive impact on Iowa’s environment (79%), its cities and towns (73%), its economy (70%), and its rural and farming communities (61%). They also say it will lower electricity costs (64%), improve wages (52%), and bring down Iowa’s unemployment rate (50%).

 

Climate Nexus Polling, Yale Program on Climate Change Communication & George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication. | 08/12/19

Awake to Woke to Work: Building a Race Equity Culture

Achieving race equity — the condition where one’s racial identity has no influence on how one fares in society — is a fundamental element of social change across every issue area in the social sector. The attainment of race equity requires us to examine all four levels on which racism operates (personal, interpersonal, institutional, and structural), recognize our role in enduring inequities, and commit ourselves to change.

This report presents the Race Equity Cycle, a cycle of change through which organizations transform from a white dominant culture to a Race Equity Culture. To get started, the report recommends the following:

  1. Establish a shared vocabulary. Ground your organization in shared meaning around race equity, structural racism, andother terms related to this work. 
  2. Identify race equity champions at the board and senior leadership levels. Select those who can set race equity priorities, communicate them broadly, drive accountability,and influence the speed and depth at which race equity is embedded in the organization.
  3. Name race equity work as a strategic imperative for your organization. Define and communicate how race equity connects to your mission, vision, organizational values, and strategies.
  4. Open a continuous dialogue about race equity work. Useresearch and learnings from other organizations to startthe conversation with your team or individuals who areinvested in your organizational cause.
  5. Disaggregate data. Collect, disaggregate, and report relevant data to get a clear picture of inequities and outcomes gaps both internally and externally.

This report was written in collaboration with over 120 practitioners, thought leaders, and subject matter experts on diversity, inclusion and race equity in the social sector. Both primary and secondary research was used to validate the theory and tools included, including an extensive literature review (over 25 reports, scholarly articles, other peer materials), in-depth interviews and a series of focus groups to refine and validate our findings. This publication is relevant if you:

  • Have some awareness that race equity is essential to driving impactful change within the social sector
  • Want to play an active role in advancing race equity in your organization
  • Lead, want to lead, or have been asked to lead race equity efforts within your organization
  • Want to understand how to build a Race Equity Culture within your organization
Equity in the Center. | 08/09/19

Climate Advocacy Lab—What We DO

The Climate Advocacy Lab has become the center of gravity for data, research, and sharing what works (and doesn't) in climate and clean energy advocacy and campaigning in the US.

Our mission is to help the climate community build grassroots power and win through evidence-based advocacy. We do this by enabling organizations to run. smarter and more effective public engagement campaigns. We focus on both tactics, including communications, digital, and volunteer mobilization, as well as strategy, such as how our movement can build the political will necessary to tackle the climate crisis. We envision a country where more people care more deeply about climate and clean energy, more take action when asked, and help build more power.

Climate Advocacy Lab | 07/22/19

Climate Advocacy Lab: Peer-to-peer texting tipsheet

The Lab is committed to acting based on evidence. Before you begin your own P2P texting campaign, make sure you cover these basics...

  • Determine your goal
  • Find your platform
  • Identify your audience
  • And more!
Climate Advocacy Lab | 07/22/19

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

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. 

Further, 70% reported that they had contacted an elected official in the past year and 58% had attended a public, town or school meeting. U.S. youth climate activists were also more engaged in confrontational tactics, with 53% saying they’ve been involved in some form of direct action, which involves breaking the law or even violence. U.S. participants were also more engaged in consumer activism: 76% said they had boycotted or deliberately bought a certain product for political, ethical or environmental reasons.

Dana Fisher, University of Maryland. The Washington Post | 07/12/19

How Hope and Doubt Affect Climate Change Mobilization

Encouraging a mix of realistic hope and doubt about addressing climate change may be the optimal mix for encouraging engagement. High levels of both hope in our likelihood of tackling the climate crisis, as well as concerns that we won't be effective (and especially a mix of both) were related to support for climate policy and intentions to take advocacy actions. Overall, there is a hope deficit, with survey respondents listing few reasons for hope, but the most common related to personal actions and seeing social change and growing awareness. Notably, thoughts about government were not a great source of hope, suggesting advocates may need to work hard to convince audiences that there is hope for policy progress.

 

Jennifer R. Marlon, Brittany Bloodhart, Matthew T. Ballew, Justin Rolfe-Redding, Connie Roser-Renouf, Anthony Leiserowitz, & Edward Maibach. Frontiers in Communication. | 06/11/19

Our Power Puerto Rico: Moving Toward a Just Recovery

This multimedia report provides a comprehensive case study of Climate Justice Alliance (CJA)’s Our Power Puerto Rico (OurPowerPR) campaign as a model of Just Recovery, an effective and innovative tool for climate adaptation that integrates many sectors of the economy to include energy democracy, food sovereignty, rural infrastructure and community self-determination. It introduces the Just Recovery framework, an approach to disaster response informed by grassroots rapid response work after extreme flooding in Louisiana in 2016, and Hurricanes Harvey and María in 2017.  The full report, including videos and more, can be accessed on CJA's website here.

With vulnerable communities across the country already experiencing the impacts of climate change, this report captures how intentional, mutual support networks and people-to-people solutions are emerging as powerful climate mitigation strategies. A Just Recovery approach used in OurPowerPR contributed to shifting political will, scaling translocal organizing models and proactively responding to climate change. Already, learnings from the OurPowerPR campaign have been applied by other grassroots climate organizations during climate disasters.

Key points of the Just Recovery framework include:

  • Respond (vs. aid): Mutual support networks activated to support communities on the ground to meet articulated needs of those most impacted & vulnerable

  • Recover (vs. extract): After disaster, provide resources and support for all to get back to work and into their homes

  • Rebuild (vs. displace): Long-term rebuilding of communities so that they are stronger than prior to the disaster and no longer highly vulnerable

Since the report was authored by frontline community members themselves, the reader will see “we” written to reference frontline communities—those most impacted by climate change—throughout the report. This supports a peer-to-peer practical documentation style of writing and informs the utility of the report for frontline community groups around the United States and the world facing similar challenges.

This multimedia report was created with support from the Climate Advocacy Lab.

 

Jayeesha Dutta, Shakara Tyler & Jesús Vázquez for Climate Justice Alliance | 06/03/19

Politics & Global Warming, April 2019

Climate looks to be a higher profile issue in voters minds headed into 2020. 38% say candidates' stances will be important to their presidential votes, and it's the third most important voting issue for liberal Democrats (after "environmental protection" and slightly of head of "developing clean energy"), and 17th out of 29 issues for all registered voters (which is an improvement!). Other survey findings: 45% would support declaring a national emergency on account of climate change; and tax/fee policy solutions receive lower support than regulation and clean energy investment as solution approaches.

George Mason and Yale Universities | 05/16/19

Do Americans understand how air pollution from fossil fuels harms health?

Many Americans are unable to name a specific health problem caused by air pollution from the use of fossil fuels, and many more Americans are unaware of the full array of serious health problems caused by air pollution from the use of fossil fuels.  The results indicate that Americans are particularly unaware of neurological health problems caused by exposure to air pollution from the use of fossil fuels. Only one percent of participants responding to the open-ended question cited neurological health problems, and no respondents mentioned a number of other health conditions linked to air pollution, including diabeteskidney disease, or weakening of the bones.

Many Americans are also unaware that some groups are more likely to be affected by air pollution from fossil fuels than others, and even fewer are able to name which groups are more vulnerable.  Those respondents who said that air pollution from the use of fossil fuels does cause health problems were asked an additional set of questions. First, they were asked “Do you think that some groups of Americans are more likely than other Americans to experience health problems caused by air pollution from the use of fossil fuels?” In response, 56% of participants said they think some groups of Americans are more affected by air pollution from the use of fossil fuels than others, while 4% said no group is at higher risk, and 12% indicated that they “don’t know.”

Participants who responded that they did think some groups of Americans are more affected by air pollution from the use of fossil fuels than others were then asked an open-ended follow-up question: “Which groups of Americans do you think are more likely than other Americans to experience health problems caused by air pollution from the use of fossil fuels?” Nearly half of participants (48%) named at least one group. Seniors were mentioned most often (15%), followed by those who live or work in polluted areas (13%), children (8%), people who live in cities (8%), people who are sick or disabled (7%), those in low-income households (7%), infants and very young children (3%), those with weak immune systems (2%), minorities (2%), people living in specific geographic locations (1%), and coal miners (1%).

Many of these responses align with scientific findings. According to the American Lung Association, children and teenagers, older adults, people who have low incomes, people who work or exercise outdoors, people who live or work near busy highways, and people with lung diseases, cardiovascular diseases, or diabetes are all at higher risk of suffering health problems from air pollution.

John Kotcher et. al., Yale Program on Climate Change Communications & the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication | 05/14/19

Framing climate change in frontline communities: anthropological insights on how mountain dwellers in the USA, Peru, and Italy adapt to glacier retreat

This research looks at frontline mountain communities in the North Cascades, WA, as well as two international communities, where visible glacier retreat has occurred in recent decades, making climate change impacts easier to see and making these impacts a topic of conversation among locals. In all three cases, residents were keenly aware of impacts related to climate change, but they understand these impacts and organize their responses through a community frame, not a climate change frame.

This research suggests that using climate change framing to discuss climate impacts may not be the only way to address barriers to action, such as the remoteness and uncertainty surrounding climate change impacts. Rather, locals' use of community frames on impacts during events such as community meetings suggest that "it is possible to take action to address climate change without explicitly speaking of climate itself."  For example, rather than speaking directly of glaciers or of climate change, these communities emphasize the importance of secure livelihoods, intergenerational continuity, community autonomy, and (in the U.S.) emphasizing self-reliance; these communities also draw on community traditions and cultural heritage.

The effectiveness of the community frame calls into question some widely shared notions about the role of belief in climate change as a crucial precondition for adaptation. It also challenges the "perceive–predict–act" model of climate change response, which draws on research suggesting that individuals who believe in manmade climate change are more likely to be concerned and support action on the issue.

Researchers call for climate communication to be a genuine dialog: "Instead of considering what could be gained if populations like these in mountains took more seriously what others say about climate change, we have sought to document what could be gained if others took more seriously what mountain populations say about community and what they do about glacier retreat."

Orlove et. al., Columbia University. Regional Environmental Change. | 05/07/19

Poll: More Americans see Democratic positions on climate as 'in the mainstream'

More Americans see the Democratic Party’s positions on climate change, health care, abortion and immigration as being “in the mainstream” than the Republican Party’s positions on those issues. 56% of Americans say the Democratic Party’s views on climate change are 'within the mainstream' while only 29% say that the Republican Party’s views on climate change are in the mainstream. 

NBC News and Wall Street Journal | 03/04/19

Rapidly declining remarkability of temperature anomalies may obscure public perception of climate change

Climate change exposes people to conditions that are historically unusual but that will become increasingly common over time. What kind of weather do people think of as normal or unusual under these changing conditions? 

This research shows that people’s experience of weather in recent years (rather than longer historical periods) determines the climatic baseline against which current weather is evaluated, potentially obscuring public recognition of anthropogenic climate change. It also indicates that the "remarkability" of particular temperatures changes rapidly with repeated exposure and provides evidence for a “boiling frog” effect: the declining noteworthiness of historically extreme temperatures is not accompanied by a decline in the negative sentiment that they induce, indicating that social normalization of extreme conditions rather than adaptation is driving these results.  

This rapidly shifting normal baseline means warming noticed by the general public may not be clearly distinguishable from zero over the 21st century, with potential implications for both the acceptance of global warming and public pressure for mitigation policies. 

Frances C. Moore, Nick Obradovich, Flavio Lehner, and Patrick Baylis. PNAS. | 02/25/19

Poll: Likely 2020 voters support parts of Green New Deal, despite reservations over the cost

Certain Green New Deal policies (green jobs guarantee, 100% renewable energy mandate) played better than others (closing all fossil fuel power plants, electric vehicles mandate) in this national survey of likely voters conducted Jan. 4-26, 2019 on 11 likely GND policies. The poll included both proponent and opposition messaging for each policy, and tested four different cost scenarios on each question, randomly alternating between zero, low, medium and high prices to test how the cost of a policy weighed on respondents’ opinions. Faced with the ranges of possible price tags, voters’ support varied, suggesting costs could factor high into the GND’s political viability. Policies improving drinking water infrastructure were the most popular. 

Additional analysis in this Huffington Post article: Likely 2020 Voters Support Green New Deal, Despite Reservations Over the Cost.

Data for Progress for Civis Analytics | 02/14/19

Renewable Energy Narrative Analysis: January–December 2018

This report looks at how the media covers renewable energy with a specific focus on the extent to which it quotes women as spokespeople, references issues of equity, or talks about communities of color. The report also provides baseline data and metrics against which to measure the impact of the diversity of leaders advancing clean energy realities ("women as well as men, communiteis of color as well as white, male entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley") and to track their progress over time. Report findings indicate where resources must be invested to truly reflect and lift up the “100% solutions and leaders” already here.

Of 2,348 articles reviewed:

  • 10% referenced equity or justice
  • 21% included women as spokespeople or lawmakers (although some climate and energy news fails to mention any spokesperson at all)
  • 7% referenced communities of color
  • and 65% were optimistic and solutions-focused.

The report also looks at dominant narrative trends to measure the overall tone of the conversation, with the following  stand-out narratives:

Positive:

  • Clean energy is growing and accelerating
  • Renewable energy’s future should be just and equitable

Neutral:

  • Fossil fuel workers need jobs
  • Corporations are buying more clean energy than ever
  • Renewable energy is increasingly bipartisan

Negative:

  • Renewable energy needs new technology
  • The “Trump effect” on clean energy creates needless division on the issue
The Solutions Project | 02/14/19

Cli-fi (climate fiction) on the big screen changes minds about real climate change

Climate change-based fiction (or “cli-fi”) presents a potentially powerful opportunity for advocates to engage the public with pro-action narratives. Even when the science behind cli-fi properties is sensationalized (such as with films like The Day after Tomorrow), some research suggests that audiences can still be persuaded to be more alarmed, talk about the issue with friends, and take action against climate change.

Jen Christensen, CNN | 02/08/19

Poll: More Republicans say stricter environmental regulations are ‘worth the cost’

The share of Americans who say stricter environmental laws and regulations are “worth the cost” has increased in recent years (63% in 2019 vs. 59% in 2017) with a significant shift coming among Republicans (45% in 2019 vs 36% in 2017). 

This shift comes as Republicans have become more divided ideologically over stricter environmental regulations. Among the roughly two-thirds of Republicans and voters who 'lean-Republican', 60% say stricter laws cost too many jobs and hurt the economy. However, among the party’s moderates and liberals (who make up about 1/3 of all Republicans and GOP leaners), 60% say stricter environmental laws are worth the cost.

There also are gender, age and educational differences in these attitudes. Women (69%) are more likely than men (58%) to say stricter environmental laws and regulations are worth the cost. And while majorities in every age group say stricter environmental laws are worth it, a larger share of those ages 18 to 29 (72%) say this compared with those who are older than 50 (60%).

Positive views of environmental laws and regulations are also more common among adults with more education. Roughly three-quarters of those with a college degree or more (74%) say stricter environmental laws are worth the cost, compared with 59% of those without a college degree.

Read the full write-up from Pew

Pew Research Center | 02/07/19

Politics & Global Warming, December 2018

Drawing on a nationally representative survey, this report describes how American registered voters — Republicans, Democrats, and Independents — view global warming, personal and collective action, and climate policies.

In 2017, after the inauguration of President Trump, we found that Republican acceptance that global warming is happening and is human-caused declined by 7 and 8 percentage points respectively from the prior year. Interestingly, however, these declines did not lead to increased denial that global warming is happening or human-caused. Instead, the declines led to an increase in Republicans saying “I don’t know” to both questions.
 
Research has shown that “political elite cues” can influence the opinions of partisans, i.e., that the views espoused by political leaders can influence the views of their followers. The declines in Republican acceptance of human-caused global warming in 2017 may thus have been driven in part by a “Trump Effect” in which the president’s statements and actions—an announcement that he will pull the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Agreement, his efforts to reverse the Clean Power Plan, and prior tweets suggesting that climate change is a hoax—likely had an effect on his fellow Republicans.
 
In 2018, however, something interesting happened. Despite President Trump’s continued statements suggesting global warming is not real or a serious issue, Republican views bounced back. As of December 2018, Republican acceptance that global warming is happening and human-caused increased by 5 and 7 percentage points, respectively, from October 2017. These results suggest that the “Trump Effect” has worn off and that Republicans (liberal, moderate, and conservative) are re-engaging the issue, having returned to near historic highs, though still at much lower levels than Democrats or Independents.
 
We also find that 67% of registered voters are worried about global warming, the highest percentage since our surveys began in 2008. This includes large majorities of liberal Democrats (95%) and moderate/conservative Democrats (80%).

Anthony Leiserowitz, Edward Maibach, Seth Rosenthal, John Kotcher, Matthew Goldberg, Matthew Ballew, Abel Gustafson and Parrish Bergquist | 02/05/19

The New Language of Climate Change

Some meteorologists and scientists are working to help conservatives acknowledge that the climate is changing by removing any mention of "climate change" or human impact from their story, and instead focusing on putting extreme weather events in historical context (e.g. 500 year floods happening every few years now, etc.). This article draws from the American Meteorological Society's recent annual meeting, and Climate Central's Climate Matters program.  

Bryan Bender, Politico | 01/27/19

POLL: Nearly Half Of Americans Are More Convinced Than They Were Five Years Ago That Climate Change Is Happening, With Extreme Weather Driving Their Views

Forty-eight percent of Americans find the science on climate change to be more convincing than it was 5 years ago, with three-quarters of them crediting recent extreme weather events for changing their views. And 7 in 10 Americans now say climate change is happening, including 86% of Democrats, 52% of Republicans, and 70% of Independents. 

Meanwhile, 44% support a carbon tax, while 29% of those surveyed oppose one and 25% say they neither support nor oppose it. When told some ways the funds might be used, support is higher: two-thirds support a carbon tax if the funds are used for environmental restoration. If respondents are told that the revenues will be rebated to households, 49% support it.

When asked about the Trump administration's proposed freeze on fuel efficiency standards, half of those surveyed were told the proposed freeze could mean that greenhouse gas emissions would not be reduced. In those cases, only 21% support the freeze. The other half of those surveyed were told the proposed freeze could lead to reduced prices for cars. In response, 49% support the freeze. 

This survey was conducted by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research with adults age 18 and over representing the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

The Associated Press & NORC Center for Public Affairs Research | 01/22/19

To Support a Stronger Climate Movement, Focus Research on Building Collective Power

Despite growing activism, the climate movement still needs to do more to translate public action into the power needed to effect meaningful change. Drawing insights from a conference that brought social scientists together with climate advocates in the U.S., the co-authors argue that researchers can make an invaluable contribution toward addressing the climate crisis by helping to identify choice points that make it more likely movement leaders will build sufficient, lasting political power. This means research should move beyond traditional public opinion, communications, messaging, and activism studies toward a greater focus on the strategic leadership and collective contexts that translate opinion and action into political power.  In particular, new research focused on leadership capacities and organizational conditions could offer movement leaders guidance on how to move beyond motivating individual actions toward building collective constituencies that have the flexibility and commitment needed to act on the interests of public officials over time. And increased research into strategy (versus trends and tactics) would support movement leaders’ decision making.

Hahrie Han, University of California, Santa Barbara and Carina Barnett-Loro, Climate Advocacy Lab. Frontiers. | 12/19/18

Poll: More Americans view climate change as 'imminent' threat

35 percent of U.S. adults now see global warming as an "imminent" threat, up from 32 percent in 2017 and 24 percent in 2015, according to this national Reuters/Ipsos poll taken Nov. 29-Dec 10. More than half (57 percent) also think global warming is caused by "human activity" or "mostly human activity", according to the survey, up from the 47 percent who attributed it to human activity in a similar poll in 2012. And 69 percent said in the poll that the U.S. should work with other nations to curb climate change, including 64 percent of Republicans and 80 percent of Democrats. That marks a decline from 72 percent in a similar poll in 2017.

Maria Caspani, Thompson Reuters Foundation News | 12/13/18

Guide to Communicating Carbon Pricing

Effectively communicating around carbon pricing can be helped by having a solid underlying policy, lifting up local applications of revenues, emphasizing the non-climate benefits of the policy, focusing on underlying values, and factoring in a population's trust--or lack thereof--in government. Those are among the many tips spelled out in this guide prepared for policymakers and their staff, and released at the COP24 United Nations climate summit. 

Partnership for Market Readiness & the Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition, w/ consulting support from Climate Outreach and others | 12/10/18

The psychology of climate change: Why people deny the evidence

Earth's climate is rapidly changing as a result of human activity. So how is it that some people are still reluctant to acknowledge it? According to some psychologists, there are a number of reasons, including the prevalence of misinformation. One of the reasons people might be sharing that information — which they may not recognize as false — is that it represents their worldview, a phenomenon called confirmation bias. Another important consideration is that when people have strong motivations, they're very selective in the sort of evidence they look for. They can be motivated by fear if their livelihood is dependent on the oil industry for example, so they fear acknowledging climate change will threaten their jobs. Others might resent government taking money out of their pockets in the form of public spending on carbon mitigation efforts. So while there is a lot of climate change information out there, communicating it in an effective way is key.

Nicole Mortillaro, CBC News | 12/02/18

Research Impact Through Matchmaking (RITM): How and Why to Connect Researchers and Practitioners

Researchers and practitioners increasingly want to learn from each other and work together to solve complex problems. Yet because they often belong to very different social networks, matchmaking is valuable. This working paper by Adam Seth Levine of research4impact presents results from a novel, evidence-based approach to matchmaking called Research Impact Through Matchmaking (RITM). It leverages research on organizational diversity to initiate working relationships between strangers who are diverse in several ways. Levine describes the method and presents data from 37 initial matches between practitioners working at nonprofits and social scientists. Overall, these results are of interest to researchers and practitioners that (a) may wish to initiate connections across diverse spaces themselves and/or (b) are currently engaged in matchmaking and may find RITM valuable.

Adam Seth Levine, research4impact. | 11/30/18

Three briefs on Researcher-Advocate collaborations

research4impact, an organization that facilitates research collaboration between advocates and academics, has released a series of three briefs on common questions and misconceptions researchers may have when working with advocates. Using data from 37 collaborations, these briefs address


Gender Differences in Public Understanding of Climate Change

Women in the U.S. are less likely than men to know certain scientific facts about global warming and tend to be less certain of what they know, even though they have a sharper understanding of the risks and threats from global warming. That is the core conclusion of this analysis of several polls over many years, examining gender differences in opinions and understanding of climate change. The authors suggest that based on their findings, compared with men, women may be more open to fact-based public education initiatives because they might be less threatened by the facts (as long as the information is consistent with their risk assessments). See coverage in U.S. News & World Report here.

M. Ballew, J. Marlon, A. Leiserowitz (Yale Program on Climate Change Communication), and E. Maibach (George Mason University) | 11/20/18

Poll: climate, environmental threats rank among Americans' top fears

Since Pres. Trump’s election, Americans are increasing fearful of pollution, global warming and other environmental disasters, according to the latest version of this ongoing national survey, fielded in June 2018. Not a single environmental concern made the top 10 list in 2016. In 2017, four of the top ten fears were related to the environment. By 2018, five of the top ten fears were environmental in nature: #s 2 (pollution of oceans, rivers and lakes), 3 (pollution of drinking water), 7 (air pollution), 8 (extinction of plant and animal species) and 9 (global warming and climate change). 'Corrupt government officials' ranked as the top fear for the fourth year in a row.

Chapman University, SSRS | 10/16/18

Poll: Global consumers seek companies that care about environmental issues

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. 

Conference Board for the Nielsen Company | 10/16/18

Poll: Regionalism affecting climate opinions

As wildfires rage in several western US states, 64% of Americans in western states say that climate change is real and is the result of human activity--a 7 percentage point increase in just the last two weeks. 55% of Americans in western states say the severity of recent extreme weather events has been fueled by climate change, compared to 48% nationally. 48% of Americans in western states say climate change is a "very serious" problem, the highest percentage of any region.  

Economist/ YouGov | 08/20/18

Poll: Nearly half of voters oppose Trump's clean cars rollback

49% of voters nationwide "somewhat" or "strongly" oppose the Trump administration's proposed weakening of federal vehicle emissions standards, while 32% somewhat or strongly support it--though 40% of voters had heard "not much" or "nothing at all" about the proposal, according to this poll on a variety of issues conducted August 2-6. Voters said the most negative impacts of the proposal would fall on the environment, with 46% saying it would strongly or somewhat hurt the environment, while opinions were more evenly split on the proposal's impacts on the economy and consumers. (Lab note: the poll's inclusion of "Trump" and "Obama-era" to describe the car standards, and a focus on divisive issues (guns, racism, Russia) in the rest of the poll, could have made responses more partisan than would otherwise be the case). See pages 5, 19 and 20 in the attached pdf for cars-related questions, and see media coverage in The Hill

Morning Consult - Politico | 08/06/18

In defense of using 'the new normal' to describe climate change

Many media reports have described recent climate impacts as "the new normal." And while climate scientists have pushed back, arguing that the future will grow gradually worse, and that suggesting current conditions will continue at current levels could lead to complacency, this article argues otherwise. Referencing the common use of "the new normal" to describe changed conditions immediately after 9/11 and the start of the Great Recession, the author argues that use of the term in response to troubling times can actually inspire action to address those troubling times, and part of that is a fear that things can in fact get even worse. 

Kate Yoder, Grist | 08/06/18

Mothers Of Invention

​Join former Irish President Mary Robinson and comedian Maeve Higgins in this uplifting new podcast, celebrating amazing women doing remarkable things in pursuit of climate justice.  Each episode features the Mothers of Invention driving powerful solutions to climate change – from the grassroots to the court room, the front lines to the board room – all over the world. 

Released every other Monday to start your week, over six entertaining and story-led episodes Mary and Maeve will chew over the big issues of climate change. They give the inside track from the corridors of power and introduce amazing women all over the world driving climate solutions – our Mothers of Invention. They are politicians in east Africa, they are scientists in India, they are Indigenous community leaders in North America, they are lawyers, they are activists and they are solving climate problems. Every. Single. Day.

Doc Society | 07/30/18

Poll: As Americans Experienced the Warmest May on Record Their Acceptance of Global Warming Reaches a New High

More Americans (73%) think that there is solid evidence of global warming than at any time since 2008. A record 60% of Americans now think global warming is happening and that humans are at least partially responsible for the rising temperatures. While half of Republicans think there is solid evidence of global warming, the divide between the 90% of Democrats that hold this view and the 50% of Republicans that maintain this position is as large as any time since 2008. The divide between Democrats and Republicans on the existence of anthropogenic induced global warming is also at record levels with 78% of Democrats now holding the view that humans are at least partially responsible for warming on the planet compared to only 35% of Republicans.

Christopher Borick, Muhlenberg College and Barry Rabe, Natalie Fitzpatrick, and Sarah Mills, University of Michigan. Issues in Energy and Environmental Policy | 07/11/18

Poll: Democrats, GOP Have Little Faith Governments Will Combat Climate Change

Despite differing over the impacts of climate change, Democrats and Republicans are in agreement on one thing: They don’t place much trust in governments to tackle the issue. 63% of Democrats and 59% of Republicans say they have “little” or “no trust” in governments to combat climate change.

Adults register less doubt about businesses, with 52% of Democrats and 41% of Republicans holding little or no trust in a corporate response to climate change. The political divide between respondents is more apparent over whether climate change will have any impact on businesses, with 40% of Republicans saying climate change will not impact businesses’ ability to grow, compared to 11% of Democrats who said the same.

Overall, a plurality of adults (22%) say that governments are most responsible for combating climate change, closely followed by individuals (20%). 25% said they didn’t know or had no opinion, and 10% selected businesses as most responsible to address climate change. Opinions over who holds the primary responsibility to address climate change vary by party affiliation, with 24% of Republicans and 23% of independents saying individual people are most responsible to address climate change, compared to 14% of Democrats. 

Only adults (44%) think that tackling global warming, rising seas and more extreme weather is ultimately a net positive for the economy, according to the poll. A majority of Democrats (55%) think it benefits the economy, compared to 44 percent of independents and 31 percent of Republicans.

Morning Consult for Bloomberg Global Business Forum | 07/11/18

Entering Climate Change Communications through the Side Door

From a communications perspective, upping the “urgency factor” on climate change may not be the best approach, as a good deal of research into the psychology of persuasion shows that reemphasizing an entrenched position can actually be counterproductive.  Instead, look for “side doors,” frames on a problem that are not necessarily Left or Right, to engage people in different perspectives, “rather than trying to knock down the front door with a barrage of facts.” This helps to reengage the public, an important first step toward making progress on a polarized issue. Here are a few ways to find the “side doors” on climate: (1) Embed non-threatening, personally meaningful conversations about climate change into cultural and community institutions with roader civic resonance (e.g., hold climate change conversations in family-oriented spaces like the zoo or aquarium); (2) Use trusted messengers, not just the “usual suspects” to depolarize an issue; (3) Increase issue-salience by focusing on day-to-day and longer-term decisions people already have to make (e.g., responding to local impacts of climate change); (4) Avoid inciting “apocalypse fatigue” and instead highlight solutions and possibilities to help foster curiosity and resolve.

 

Ezra Markowitz & Julie Sweetland | 07/10/18

Poll: Majority of Americans Support State Policies for Mandatory Solar Installation on New Homes

A majority of Americans (63%) somewhat or strongly support their state adopting a policy that mandates solar power installation on all new homes constructed in their state. While public support differs by partisan identity, even a majority of Republicans say they support such a policy (57% compared to 73% of Democrats surveyed). A separate poll from late May suggests overall enthusiasm for home solar, with 58% of U.S. adults saying they would consider installing solar on their homes and the rest split between “no” (22%) and “don’t know” (20%). This polling follows a recent May decision by the California Energy Commission that all new houses in the state be built with solar panels starting in 2020. Currently, California is the only state with such a mandate.

Jacqueline Toth, Morning Consult | 07/03/18

Poll: Americans see climate monitoring as top priority for NASA

More Americans (63%) think "monitoring key parts of the Earth's climate system" should be a top priority for NASA than they do any other potential priority, according to this wide-ranging survey, conducted March 27-April 9, 2018, on Americans' attitudes on NASA and space exploration.

Cary Funk and Mark Strauss, Pew Research Center | 06/06/18

M+R Benchmarks Study

While nonprofit groups' email lists expanded by 11% in 2017 (and by 13% on Facebook, 15% on Twitter and 44% on Instagram), open rates and response rates for advocacy emails shrank by 1% and 2.2% respectively. Visits to nonprofit groups' websites via mobile devices rose 9% in 2017, and accounted for 40% of the overall visits to those sites. Within the environmental sector specifically, 29% of email subscribers completed an advocacy action at least once in 2017 (compared to a 21% overall average across all nonprofits), and 8% of email subscribers took action 3 or more times (compared to a 6% average). These were just some of the key findings from this extensive report, which examined the digital media work of 154 nonprofit groups in 2017, from within and outside of the environmental community.

M + R | 05/31/18

When Does a Moment Turn Into a ‘Movement’?

If turning out thousands, or even millions, of outraged citizens merely indicates potential, how and when do we decide that a movement actually exists?  In recent decades, the right has built movements within institutions, taking over or transforming existing institutions from the school board to a national party (think: Tea Party); on the left, movements have rejected institutional change (consider Occupy). But less than a decade later, the heyday of both the Tea Party and Occupy seem largely behind us. On one hand, modern movements may need to reinvent themselves to sustain impact over the long-haul; on the other hand, it’s possible the success of such movements rests in their rapidity. Either way, a movement is ultimately defined by what it accomplishes, at which point the “impossible” suddenly transforms into the “inevitable”; the movement is what happens in between.

Beverly Gage, NY Times | 05/15/18

Poll: Global Warming Age Gap: Younger Americans Most Worried

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. Young adults are also significantly more likely to think news reports on global warming underestimate the problem – 48% of Americans age 18 to 24 think that, versus 31% age 55 and older.

RJ Reinhart, Gallup | 05/11/18

Poll: Millennials prioritize energy as a core issue for 2018

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.

Public Opinion Strategies for American Conservative Coalition and Conservative Energy Network | 05/08/18

Poll: One in five adults have attended a political protest, rally or speech

A new poll finds that 1 in 5 Americans has protested in the streets or participated in a political rally since the beginning of 2016, and environment and energy issues were cited among the top two most frequently protested issues. 19% of those who have protested said the actions were their first of that kind, the majority (70%) disapproved of the President, and were most likely to be college graduates and Democrats. Also, one-third of those polled say they intend to volunteer or work for a 2018 congressional campaign, and 83% of rally-goers and protesters said they are certain to vote.

The Washington Post and the Kaiser Family Foundation | 04/06/18

Poll: U.S. Energy Concerns Low; Increasing Supply Not a Priority

Americans' concern about energy, based on multiple measures, is at or near its lowest level in two decades, with just 25% of Americans saying they worry "a great deal" about the availability and affordability of energy. Diminished concern about the U.S. energy situation has likely led fewer Americans to prioritize energy production -- namely, from oil, gas and coal -- over environmental protection. Currently, 34% say the U.S. should give a higher priority to increasing energy supplies than to protecting the environment, while 59% want the environment to be prioritized. Asked to choose between an emphasis on developing alternative energy sources and increased production of fossil fuels73% of adults prefer an approach that focuses on developing alternative energy sources, while 21% favor one that targets production of more oil, gas and coal supplies.

Jeffrey Jones, Gallup | 04/02/18

Poll: Young Americans' Political Outlook and Perspectives

Young people acknowledge that the public has become more interested and involved with politics since Trump’s election in 2016. Majorities feel that people are now paying attention to politics (64%), questioning the media (62%), engaging in political activism (61%), and having conversations about race and gender issues (60% and 53%, respectively) more than they were before. 

Half of young Americans are already thinking about the 2018 midterm elections, and majorities support a number of policy changes on issues currently under debate, including addressing climate change (60%). As with older Americans, there are considerable differences in support between Democrats (77%), Republicans (32%) and Independents (58%). 

Despite the visibility of recent protests by high school students and other young people, many young Americans say they don’t have much influence on the government. 62% percent think people like themselves have little or no impact on what the government does, and 75% say public officials care only a little or not at all about what people like them think.

MTV and the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research | 04/01/18

Poll: Global Warming Concern Steady Despite Some Partisan Shifts

Americans' concerns about global warming are not significantly different from the record-high levels they were in 2017. However, partisan gaps across global-warming measures are slightly wider than in 2017. 89% of Democrats -- vs. 62% of Independent voters and 35% of Republicans believe global warming is caused by human activities. Similarly, 91% of Democrats worry a "great deal" or "fair amount" about global warming, compared to 62% of Independents and 33% of Republicans. Conversely, 69% of Republicans think seriousness of global warming is "generaly exaggerated" vs. 34% of Independents and just 4% of Democrats. 

Additional analysis in the Washington Post and Mother Jones.

 

Megan Brenan and Lydia Saad, Gallup | 03/28/18

Is Partisanship the New Religion?

This piece argues that as Americans associate less and less with organized religion (and other civic institutions such as labor unions), one's political affiliation is now their new 'tribe' and self-identification mechanism, which has implications for their opinions and who else's opinions they listen to on climate change and other issues. Political polarization and media outlets catering to specific ideologies then further amplify the impact of this identity-by-party. The piece includes many links to supporting polling and research. 

Jeremy Deaton, Nexus Media | 03/20/18

Cutting Through the Complexity: A Roadmap for Effective Collaboration

"The Five Cs" for successful collaborations, which are key to addressing the complex social and environmental challenges we're up against, include: 1) clarifying purpose, 2) convening the right people, 3) cultivating trust, 4) coordinating existing activities, and 5) collaborating for systems impact.  These process points are remarkably consistent across collaborations, even if the focus and activities of collaborations differ. And this is largely because they help collaborators navigate the personal, political, cultural, and organizational dynamics inherent in working in collectives. A few additional items are also critical for successful collaborations, including formal governance (e.g. for timely decision making) and structures that operationalize collaboration (e.g. RE-AMP's Action Network).  Also key to healthy collaborations are strong coordination, including roles responsible for constantly sensing and responding to the emerging needs of the collaborative as it evolves, and – wait for it – funding that supports collaboration without restricting or controlling its path

David Ehrlichman, David Sawyer, and Matthew Spence. Stanford Social Innovation Review. | 03/15/18

American Climate Perspectives: March 2018

As the soon to be largest living generation in the United States, Millennials are an influential demographic for the climate movement. A recent study reveals encouraging trends in climate attitudes and behaviors, with increases in personal concern and action. In the past two years, Millennial climate concern has increased 15 points. Across the spectrum of action on climate, Millennials are also the most engaged U.S. age group. They are discussing climate change with friends and family, and at their place of worship, at higher rates than the national average. They also far surpass the national average in terms of shifting toward more energy efficient forms of transportation (59% vs. 39%). In terms of political action, 44% of Millennials have contacted or voted for an elected official based on his or her support for taking action on climate change, a rate higher than any other group.

ecoAmerica, Lake Research Partners | 03/13/18