Search below for resources covering the intersection of climate engagement, social science and data analytics.
Have a resource you want to share?CONTACT US
Like many of you, the Lab team has been exploring how we can best support the climate movement at this critical moment, with nearly a trillion dollars on the table to reshape the climate and energy landscape following the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), and CHIPS & Science Act. Simultaneously, we know communities across the country continue to suffer from the impacts and fight build-out of the extractive, polluting fossil fuel industry – including many of my neighbors across the Southeast, calling on President Biden to oppose the Mountain Valley Pipeline.
Surveys show that the public somewhat disapproves of non-violent, disruptive climate protests. A plurality of respondents (46%) report that these tactics decrease their support for efforts to address climate change. Only 13% report increasing support. There are important sub-group differences in this measure of support: White respondents and Republicans were both more likely to report that these efforts decrease their support compared with Black or Hispanic and Democratic respondents. 69% of Republicans report that these non-violent, disruptive protests decrease their support for climate action, compared to only 27% among Democrats. It is noteworthy however that even Democrats are more likely to report a decrease (27%) than an increase (21%) in support. Moreover, independents, who might be critical in establishing majority support for aggressive climate policies express strong disapproval of the tactics, with 43% reporting a decrease in support and only 11% reporting an increase.
Online-offline organizing, which the Lab also calls “blended organizing," is organizing that engages participants using in-person and digital touches in concert with one another and mobilizes them to act both online and in-person. This tipsheet provides a detailed account of how advocates can successfully engage and develop their supporters using the organizing pathway model.
This tipsheet lays out how advocates can build a relational climate conversations program to inspire supporters to take this most basic and neglected action: letting family members, friends, and neighbors know that they are not alone in caring about climate change, and that there are ways to face this crisis if they act together. The last page is a roadmap for how advocates can train supporters to hold productive conversations with their loved ones.
Activism seeks to change political outcomes by engaging more people in the political process. Climate activism’s theory of change can be broken down into 5 stages: campaign building, directed action, initial changes, legislative change, and reduced greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. There are some competing theories about how to best succeed at any of these stages, such as structure- versus mass-based movement organizing. This report summarizes some academic research on each of these categories.
This article includes tips on how to initiate relational climate conversations with friends, family, and neighbors. Beyond emphasizing the transformative potential of these types of conversations on climate action-taking, it provides steps on how to get a conversation started, such as by centering the chat around personal connections to the issue and concrete actions the conversation partners are taking, would like to take, and perhaps could be persuaded to take against climate change.
There are numerous resources for those seeking to better understand climate emotions and those feeling depressed, anxious, or overwhelmed by the climate crisis. Eco-distress is a normal and reasonable feeling in response to the social, environmental, and economic impacts of climate change.
This post includes a roundup of climate + environment headlines from this week’s public polls, good data points to highlight, and a full roundup with key takeaways from each poll - including new polls on the Build Back Better budget, a study on the impact of language in the natural gas debate, and extreme weather polling.
- Navigator - Specific details engender broad support for the Build Back Better budget, even when it’s framed as a Democratic bill (Release, Slide Deck, Topline)
- Washington Post/ABC News - The Build Back Better budget has slim majority support when described as $3.5 trillion in spending for “expanded social programs, educational assistance and programs to address climate change” (Topline, Crosstabs)
- No Labels & American Action Network - Opposition polls claim that Americans want to pause on the kind of government spending included in the Build Back Better budget (Axios Article on No Labels Poll, No Labels Release, American Action Network Release)
- Yale Program on Climate Change Communication - Language used to describe gas as an energy source is hugely impactful in shaping opinions; Americans have positive attitudes about “natural gas,” but not about methane (Academic Paper, YPCCC Article)
- Economist/YouGov - Americans continue to attribute recent extreme weather events more to climate change than natural patterns; nearly one in four say they were personally impacted by Eastern seaboard hurricanes (Topline, Crosstabs)
There are six key steps to executing the best “one-on-one” conversation—specific to a union organizing setting, but potentially applicable to other settings. Step One: Discover the issues—ask open-ended questions to understand the problems the worker cares most about. Step Two: Agitate—ask provocative questions about the frustrations expressed by the worker. Step Three: Elucidate—provide your worker with alternatives, such as enhancing worker power with a union. Step Four: Make an “ask”—before assuming you will be rejected, ask the worker to take a concrete action. Step Five: Innoculate—prepare the worker for the toxic arguments that the boss will give in fighting union power. Step Six: Follow up—check in after the conversation to try to ensure consistent communication and action.
Increasing education around low-carbon diets (e.g., vegetarianism) is important for encouraging that type of behavioral shift. Using ad-based data from Facebook, the researchers analyzed individuals’ interest in vegetarianism and sustainable living across 61 countries. They find that across countries education is the main determinant of interest in vegetarian diets. While raising awareness about these diets is not a direct measure of educational attainment, the researchers conclude that raising awareness about sustainable consumption is a good step. Women are also more likely to be interested in low-carbon diets, as are younger individuals. Practitioners who aim to increase the adoption of low-carbon diets should consider these factors when developing initiative and policies.