Search below for resources covering the intersection of climate engagement, social science and data analytics.
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It’s better to prioritize policies and messaging to “make our future housing stock cleaner, healthier and safer and electrify our lives with abundance,” rather than banning gas stoves, which makes people think of sacrifice and should be avoided. Further, in telling a political narrative about the issue, blame the producer, not the consumer. It’s also important to remember that while we need to transition off dependence on gas heating and gas use in homes, changing home cooking will accomplish a tiny portion of our carbon pollution goal—it shouldn’t become the centerpiece of climate messaging.
This post includes climate and environment headlines, data points, and key takeaways from recent public polls - including national polling about climate change and its impacts, national polling about extreme weather and congressional action on climate change, and new polling in New York State about the proposed end of gas hookups in new construction projects.
Most New York State voters support the end of gas in new construction projects. 66% of New York State voters support ending gas in new construction projects (including 85% of Democrats and 43% of Republicans). Fewer than 50% of New Yorkers believe their political leaders have done enough to address climate change. More New Yorkers are concerned about “the cost of home energy bills” (85%) than “climate change” (74%) or “the air quality in their residence” (55%).
Environmental advocates can strengthen their argument on permitting reform by framing it as an issue of communities vs. corporate interests. Voters overwhelmingly believe that input from impacted communities should be prioritized over input from industry association groups as Congress considers changes to the permitting process for energy projects. Voters support the Environmental Justice for All Act by a greater than three-to-one margin (69% support / 20% oppose) after reading a brief description of it. By a 65%-22% margin, voters prefer that lawmakers prioritize feedback from impacted communities over industry association groups like the American Petroleum Institute when considering changes to the permitting process. By a 56%-35% margin, voters say that President Biden should prioritize permitting for clean energy projects over fossil fuel projects. Just 16% of voters believe that permitting reform should be attached to the annual government spending bill, compared to 59% who say it should be considered as a standalone bill and 10% who say it shouldn’t be considered at all.
This post includes climate and environment headlines, data points, and key takeaways from recent public polls - including new polling on the Inflation Reduction Act, attitudes toward the country’s major domestic energy sources, and a new paper on the behaviors and perceptions that correlate the most strongly with changes in climate attitudes.
If humanity is to survive the climate crisis, we must manage a just and orderly transition away from fossil fuels. Acknowledge the full scope of the problem. Recognize the limited scope of economic policy solutions. Accept that substantially reducing greenhouse-gas emissions presents an existential challenge for the industry. We face the challenge of managing “compassionate destruction,” in which we guide all the complex and expansive elements of the fossil-fuel sector through a just and orderly transition to a carbon-free economy. Bring about the end of the entire sector through corporate collaboration. Protect workers and avoid labor flight during transition. Overcome political and social resistance to change. Account for the full scope of the financial impact of the transition. Control the fate of products both used and unused. Protect indirect workers in related industries. Maintain justice and equity for all communities. Decommission, remediate, and repurpose dedicated infrastructure. Leverage the power of government. Overhaul business education as if people and the planet really matter.
New Mexico voters widely support proposals to shift the state toward clean energy, reduce methane pollution, and protect safe drinking water. 89% of New Mexico voters support a proposal to provide funding to help rural and tribal communities repair systems that ensure safe drinking water. 70% of New Mexico voters support the state’s new requirements for the oil and gas industry to use technologies that limit methane emissions and other pollution. 58% of New Mexico voters support proposed state legislation that would make New Mexico a national leader in clean energy production and require that the state cut climate pollution by half by 2030 and reach net-zero by 2050.
Historic Environmental Justice Victory: City of Los Angeles is creating a pathway to phase out existing oil and gas wells
Residents, community organizations, and health care practitioners organized for over a decade to protect the health of residents on the front lines of urban oil extraction in L.A. In January 2022, the Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously to draft an ordinance to prohibit all new oil and gas drilling and to phase out existing drilling operations throughout the City of Los Angeles. This resource is based on an interview with Wendy Miranda (she/they), a community leader with Communities for a Better Environment (CBE) and resident, about the historic victory. The organizing strategy to get this victory involved various lobbying efforts, rallies, press conferences, petition collections, a wide range of community/organization endorsements, phone banking, and social media outreach. Overall, frontline residents providing public comments and sharing their personal experiences were some of the strongest and most powerful tactics. STAND L.A. will continue to be part of the process to help draft an ordinance and direct the City of Los Angeles on how to lead a genuine community participation process. Miranda shares that this victory is proof that frontline communities can lead the change toward a just, equitable transition to a clean energy future.
Texas voters view the clean energy transition as a net positive for the state economy, and most want to see their state leadership strengthen regulations on utilities and fossil fuel companies. 65% of Texans agree that state leaders such as Governor Greg Abbott and Attorney General Ken Paxton didn’t do enough to protect consumers with high energy bills following Winter Storm Uri, and two-thirds (67%) believe that the federal government should investigate possible price gouging by power companies during the storm. Additionally, only 35% believe that the Texas state government is doing enough to prepare the state for the impacts of climate change. The clear majority (64%) support more regulations on power companies and oil and gas producers “given the disruptions to the power grid and high energy prices caused by Winter Storm Uri in February 2021.” And by a 56%-34% margin, Texans side more with an argument that “regulations on energy companies need to be stronger in Texas to ensure power stays on and to protect Texas consumers from high prices” than a competing argument that “regulations on energy companies are an overstep of the government, don’t usually deliver the benefits they promise, and are not worth the cost.” Importantly, the poll also finds that more Texans believe that the clean energy transition will improve Texas’s economy (47%) than worsen it (35%).
A record-high percentage of Pennsylvanians (75%) say there is “solid evidence” of global warming; Pennsylvanians are divided on fracking and the long-term impacts of gas drilling in the state. 77% of Pennsylvanians view global warming as a “serious problem” (including 53% who rate it as “very serious”) further demonstrates a clear statewide consensus around the reality and risks of climate change. The poll also finds that Pennsylvanians are feeling cross-pressured on the issue of fracked gas, as large majorities believe both that gas drilling is important to the state’s economy (86%) and that it poses a major risk to the state’s water resources (67%). Pennsylvanians are divided on fracking in general, as 48% support and 44% oppose the extraction of gas from shale deposits in the state. State residents have similarly mixed attitudes as to whether gas drilling will provide more benefits (44%) or more problems (40%) for Pennsylvania in the future. When asked an open-ended question about the primary risks of fracking in Pennsylvania, meanwhile, residents are most likely to name water contamination (26%) and general environmental damage (14%).