Search below for resources covering the intersection of climate engagement, social science and data analytics.
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Western voters are deeply concerned about corporate interests harming Western lands and support a range of conservation solutions, including creating and protecting national monuments and doing more to regulate oil and gas operations on public lands. 87% of Western voters say that it’s important to them that a candidate supports conservation of public lands when deciding who to vote for in an election. 74% of Western voters say that they would feel more favorably about President Biden and his administration if they did more to focus efforts to protect and conserve public lands, parks, wildlife, and monuments. 71% of Western voters say that they are more likely to vote for someone who prioritizes protecting public lands from being taken over by private developers and oil and mining corporations. 70% of Western voters say that the government should do more to create and protect national monuments on public land that has significant historical, scenic, or scientific value for the future.
Join Kentuckians for the Commonwealth to learn more about their deep canvassing efforts, lessons learned, and best practices from their on-the-ground experience. During this webinar, participants will hear from the folks involved about how deep canvassing can be a powerful tool for bringing new people into the climate justice movement as well as how learnings might be applied to other climate deep canvass and relational conversation programs across the country.
Pushing for Energy Justice with Fairbanks Climate Action Coalition: Community Organizing Lessons from Alaska
The Fairbanks Climate Action Coalition (FCAC) is working to advance a Just Transition away from fossil fuel extraction and towards renewable energy and a regenerative economy in interior Alaska. For several years, FCAC’s Renewable Energy Working Group has been organizing around their local electric utility cooperative, Golden Valley Electric Association (GVEA), to support more generation from renewable energy sources and energy justice initiatives and decarbonization of electricity. FCAC’s organizing efforts have supported more pro-renewable candidates to be democratically elected to the GVEA’s Board of Directors and pushed the utility to consider community solar projects and on-bill financing. A major win came in June 2022 when the GVEA Board adopted a strategic generation plan including a commitment to close down one of their coal plants and pursue a large scale wind power project.
In this webinar, FCAC shares learnings from their Microgrant Report: Cooperative Opportunity: Clean Energy documenting the development of their campaign, sharing reflections on how their organizing structure led to wins, the challenges they faced, and the lessons that can be learned to succeed in future campaigns.
There is plenty of interest in electric vehicles (EVs) in rural areas, but there is a huge knowledge gap about what it is like to own an EV. In a nationally representative 2020 survey, across urban, suburban and rural areas, 4% of the respondents with valid driver’s licenses said they would definitely plan to get an EV for their next vehicle. In the latest survey, which was fielded in early 2022, this share has increased from 4% overall to 11% in rural areas and 18% in urban areas. An additional 18% of rural dwellers and 25% of urban dwellers would seriously consider buying or leasing an EV if they were to get a vehicle today. When considering respondents who would definitely plan and seriously consider (not including those who are open to getting one in the future), this adds up to 29% of rural drivers who would at least seriously consider buying or leasing an EV. Among rural dwellers, only 6% said they were very familiar with the fundamentals of buying and owning an EV, while 30% said they were somewhat familiar. One of the reasons for this lack of familiarity could be the scarcity of EVs in rural areas: only 27% of rural dwellers have seen an EV in their neighborhood in the past month compared to more than half of urban dwellers, and even fewer have a friend, relative or co-worker who owns an EV. A whopping 90% of rural dwellers have never been a passenger in an EV, and almost nobody has ever driven one.
Rural Nebraskans are concerned about extreme weather and climate change but aren’t convinced about proposed climate solutions. 59% of rural Nebraskans agree that we have a responsibility to future generations to reduce the effects of climate change. 55% of rural Nebraskans are concerned about severe droughts. 52% of rural Nebraskans recognize that human activity is contributing to climate change.
This post includes climate and environment headlines, data points, and key takeaways from recent public polls - including new state-level polls in Texas and Nebraska.
Wyoming voters have positive attitudes about fossil fuels but are open to mitigating their impact with carbon removal sites in the state. Wyoming voters express the most favorable views toward traditional energy sources like natural gas (91 percent favorable), oil (84 percent favorable), and coal (78 percent favorable). Nuclear energy (71 percent favorable) enjoys roughly the same favorability as solar energy (69 percent favorable), while wind energy lags relatively behind (52 percent favorable). Notably, several respondents express very strong negative sentiments toward wind turbines — especially regarding their appearance — in an open-ended prompt regarding any additional views toward alternative energy sources. Wyoming voters are open-minded about carbon removal. After reading a brief description, Wyoming voters support building CDR sites in the state by a +50-point margin. There is broad support across party lines from majorities of Democrats (84 percent), Independents (69 percent), and Republicans (65 percent).
Rural voters of color need to see and hear from their local elected officials and candidates often, and not just before an election. They aren’t looking for pie in the sky plans; they want leaders to execute and to see results. When leaders deliver on priorities, it needs to be clear WHO delivered to get credit and build trust in the electoral process to make change. Unbiased, accessible candidate guides may empower these voters to participate. Motivating messages should reinforce their power to change things at the local level and reinforce community pride and the value of their opinions. We are not reaching these voters if we are not on social media and radio. This resource used both in-depth interviews and large-N surveys of Black, Latinx, and indigenous voters and nonvoters.
A Guide for Cooperative Leaders: Rural Electric Cooperatives and the Transition to a Clean Energy Future
Rural electric cooperatives are foundational institutions within their communities. Cooperatives serve as energy providers and a cornerstone of economic development and community well-being. Today, the electric utility industry — including rural cooperatives — is undergoing a transformation that is on par with some of the biggest industrial transformations in history, and cooperative directors are on the forefront of that transition. This paper is designed to provide a guide for electric cooperative directors seeking to make responsible, forward-looking planning decisions and investments within a clean energy transition – while delivering more flexible, resilient, and economic service to member-owners. Rural electric cooperatives ground their work in the seven cooperative principles: Open and voluntary membership; Democratic member control; Members’ economic participation; Autonomy and independence; Education, training and information; Cooperation among cooperatives; Concern for community.
A majority of Nevadans are concerned about the impact of global warming, especially when it comes to the rise in wildfires in the West and resulting poor air quality.
- That sentiment is strongest in Washoe County, where the past two summers have been smoke-filled due to catastrophic wildfires in California. Almost all Washoe County residents polled have concerns about wildfires and resulting air pollution.
- More than half of those polled in Clark County and nearly two-thirds of those in Washoe County said climate change impacts them daily, including 69% of Black respondents.
- 78% of those aged 18-24 agreed climate change is impacting their lives, while less than half of those aged 65-74 agreed.
- The lone segment of Nevadans who did not report seeing a daily impact due to climate change was rural Nevada, where more than three-quarters said global warming doesn’t impact them.
- Nevadans on both sides of major political party lines are united by concern about the recent rise in the size, frequency and severity of wildfires — 95% of Democrats and 72% of Republicans agreed it’s a problem.
- While wildfire concerns span party lines, concerns about air quality do not — 90% of Democrats are concerned, as opposed to only 48% of Republicans.