Search below for resources covering the intersection of climate engagement, social science and data analytics.


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Found 208 Resources

National Survey of Attitudes of Wind Power Project Neighbors

A survey of individuals living near U.S. wind power projects focused on understanding how U.S. communities are reacting to the deployment of wind turbines and providing insights to communities considering wind projects revealed a number of interesting insights. Findings indicate an overall positive attitude toward the nearby turbines, including for those living even as close as ½ mile. Roughly 8% of the population had negative attitudes within 5 miles. In an examination of a broad set of possible correlates to attitudes, it was found that neither demographic nor local wind project characteristics were significantly related. Attitudes were significantly correlated with compensation, sensory perceptions of the nearby turbines, planning process perceptions, and attitudes toward wind turbines in general. It was also found that individuals moving into the area after wind project construction were significantly more positive than those already in the community, implying that more supportive individuals might be self-selecting into the community. 

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory | 02/15/18

American Climate Perspectives: February 2018

While many polls consistently show that women are more likely than men to acknowledge climate science and support solutions, this poll from September 2017 found that the gender gap has evaporated on key questions of urgency to act and personal agency. Furthermore, on several questions involving personally experiencing climate impacts and shifting toward climate-friendly behavior (biking or walking, discussing climate change with friends, etc.), women of color have significantly more climate-friendly attitudes and behaviors, while white women have attitudes and behaviors that are the same as or in some cases worse than men overall.

ecoAmerica, Lake Research Partners | 02/13/18

Principles for effective communication and public engagement on climate change: A Handbook for IPCC authors

A communication guide for IPCC climate scientists contains valuable insights for climate advocates as well, such as to focus on day-to-day experience, local stories, and values, not abstract numbers and science, among its six social science-based recommendations. It also features detailed practical guidance and examples. A short video based on the report is also available.

Adam Corner, Chris Shaw, and Jamie Clarke. Climate Outreach. | 01/30/18

Poll: American Climate Perspectives: January 2018

The latest in this ongoing survey of Americans' opinions on climate, fielded in September 2017, found that while Americans are more pessimistic about our chances of tackling the problem (36% agree "Nothing we can do will stop climate change", an 8 percent jump from 2016), more Americans are talking about climate change (36% "Have heard or read about climate change from friends or family", a 9% jump from 2016), and their support for local action has increased (41% "Want their city to conserve energy", a 14% jump from 2016).  

Fery, P., Speiser, M., Lake, C., and Voss, J., ecoAmerica and Lake Research Partners | 01/18/18

Webinar: Building More Effective Campaign Narratives

Webinar conversation examined related social science research and examples of campaign and movement narratives. Their recommendations for crafting a powerful narrative include: (1) Link your campaign story to narratives and stories that people already know, and build on them -- present the status quo, help people see both alternative futures and themselves in the actions necessary to create them. (2) Build narratives that give people agency and power. Fear narratives can work when accompanied by messaging that helps people act on their concerns, but just scaring people rarely mobilises them to act.​ (3) Ask people to tell their story. Telling our own stories makes our experience more real and justifies our political and social beliefs. And, for the listener, hearing personal stories from friends, family, colleagues and others who share common experiences can validate beliefs that we hold but don’t express. Think of using stories to make civic participation an integral part of your constituent’s story and identity.

Vanessa Williamson, for Mobilisation Lab | 11/27/17

Poll: Climate Change in the American Mind: October 2017

A majority (63%) of Americans are worried about global warming, including 22% who are "very worried", the highest percentage reporting that level of concern since this ongoing survey was first run in 2008. The survey also found 64% of Americans think global warming is affecting the weather, and 33% think weather is being affected "a lot", an 8 percentage point increase from May 2017. 38% of Americans say they're talking about climate change with friends and family "often" or "occasionally", a 12 point increase from May, but still far less than the 62% who "rarely" or "never" discuss it. Only 5% say humans can and will successfully reduce global warming.  

Leiserowitz, A., Maibach, E., Roser-Renouf, C., Rosenthal, S., Cutler, M., & Kotcher, J. Yale University & George Mason University | 11/16/17

Poll: Beliefs on Climate Change and Severe Weather

Seven in 10 Americans say weather-related disasters are becoming more severe, and nearly half of them say this is because of climate change. 

Overall, 71% of Americans say climate change is happening, while just 12% say it is not and 17% are not sure. Among those who say climate change is happening or aren’t sure, 45% say it is caused mostly or entirely by human activities, while just 16% say it is mostly or entirely the result of natural changes in the environment. 38% think it’s an equal mix of both factors. Among those who say climate change is happening or aren’t sure, 82% say it is something the United States government should be addressing, regardless of its cause.

More than half of Americans say climate change is very or extremely important to them. At the same time, two-thirds disapprove of how President Trump is handling the issue. Democrats (79%) are more likely than independents (50%) or Republicans (27%) to say climate change is very or extremely important to them.

Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research | 10/12/17

Climate Change in the Latino Mind

Key findings from a nationally representative survey of 2,054 English and Spanish-speaking Latinos include: 84% of Latinos think global warming is happening and 70% understand it is mostly human caused. 78% are worried about global warming, with 35% "very worried". Latinos want corporations and industry (77%), citizens themselves (74%), President Trump (74%), and the U.S. Congress (73%) to do more to address global warming. Many Latinos are willing to take political action on global warming, including a majority who would vote for a candidate for public office because of their position on global warming (60%). A majority are also willing to join a campaign to convince elected officials to take action to reduce global warming (51%), including 61% of Spanish-language Latinos--but 71% of Latinos have never been contacted by an organization working to reduce global warming. 

Anthony Leiserowitz, Matthew Cutler, and Seth Rosenthal, Yale University | 09/27/17

Poll: Americans divided by party on global warming's role in hurricanes

Americans are divided over whether or not global warming plays a significant role in the intensity of hurricanes, following a devastating hurricane season in the U.S. 78% of Democratic respondents believe that climate change has contributed to the recent increase in the severe tropical storms, an increase of 30 percentage points since 2005. However only 15% of Republicans answered that they believe it to be a cause, a 10-point decrease over the same time period. 48% of independents surveyed believe climate change plays a major role in the storms -- a gain of 34% since 2005. 49% of those polled believe in global warming as a cause of the increasing frequency of powerful storms, an increase of 36 percent since 2005, the year Hurricane Katrina struck Louisiana. Write up in the Hill.

CNN | 09/20/17

Why the Wiring of Brains Makes It Hard to Stop Climate Change

This op-ed discusses how our mental capacity is limited and humans are not set up well to handle esoteric issues like climate change. Most Americans know little about the ins and outs of the issue, or the policy options relating to it. Instead, opinions derive from political party affiliation or basic ideology.

But some policy strategies may be able to address some of these inherent human-nature challenges: 

  • Investments in technology. Technology can lower the cost of reducing emissions, making change easier to accept and adopt.

  • Policies that generate tangible, immediate benefits. Efforts to control soot provide a good example as both a global warming ollutant and a noxious local air problem. Those that don't care about global warming still find it in their self-interest to protect the air.

  • Political institutions can maintain a long view- surveying climate impacts regularly. This helps place extreme storms as part of patterns that needs sustained policy attention. 

David G. Victor, Nick Obradovich, and Dillon Amaya | 09/17/17

Poll: American Climate Perspectives: 2017 Annual Summary

This thorough rundown of polling covers both trend lines over time of Americans' opinions on climate and energy issues, as well as polling around specific recent events, such as support for and perceived impact of the April 2017 science marches, as well as reactions to Trump administration policies. 

ecoAmerica | 09/14/17

Poll: More Republicans Concerned About Climate Change After Hurricanes


More Republican voters are worried about climate change after massive hurricanes pummeled states including GOP-heavy state Texas, Florida and Louisiana. 57% percent of Republican registered voters said they were concerned about climate change and its impact on the environment, up 7 percentage points from April. 67% voters polled said they were concerned about climate change and its environmental impact, although concern among Democrats and independents actually dipped (7 and 4 percentage points, respectively). 

When asked about the contribution of climate change to recent natural disasters, such as the hurricanes that impacted parts of Texas and Louisiana, 61% of voters — including 52% of GOP voters — said the changing climate had at least some impact, while 21% believed it had little or no impact. 52% of registered voters believe that climate change is making natural disasters more frequent, and the same percentage said climate change is making those disasters more powerful. Geography also appears to be playing a role in driving public sentiment toward a more hawkish view on the subject in the wake of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. 41% of respondents who reside in the South said they were very concerned about climate change’s impact on the U.S. environment, up 8 percentage points from the spring survey.  

Write-up here.

Morning Consult and Politico | 09/13/17

Public willingness to pay for a US carbon tax and preferences for spending the revenue

Public support is greatest, at nearly 80%, for using revenue from a carbon tax to support the development of clean energy (solar, wind) and for improvements to American infrastructure (roads, bridges, etc). More than 70% of Americans support using the money to assist displaced workers in the coal industry, and 66% support paying down the national debt. Between 45% and 60% support reducing federal income taxes, assisting low-income communities most vulnerable to climate change, paying a climate dividend to all households in equal amounts, and helping all communities prepare for and adapt to global warming. Fewer respondents support reductions in payroll taxes (44%) and reducing corporate taxes (24%).

Those who believe global warming is happening are 35 percentage points more likely to support the carbon tax, whereas those who do not believe global warming is happening are 25 percentage points less likely to support the carbon tax.

The survey also analyzed respondents' "willingness to pay" (or the amount that Americans would, on average, be willing to pay in support of the described carbon tax) that people are willing to pay, on average, $177 annually, but that a US$10 increase in annual household cost from a theoretical carbon tax reduces the probability of support by 1 percentage point. We find statistically insignificant effects on the probability of support based on household size and the respondent's age, gender and years of education. We do, however, find statistically significant income and race effects. A $10,000 increase in a household's annual income increases the likelihood of support by 1 percentage point. Not surprisingly, Republicans, Independents, and those having no party affiliation are significantly less likely than Democrats to support the carbon tax, with magnitudes of 11, 20, and 18 percentage points less, respectively. 

Matthew Kotchen, Zachary Turk, and Anthony Leiserowitz, Yale University. Environmental Research Letters | 09/13/17

‘Negative Partisanship’ Explains Everything

The rise of intense political polarization among the American public can be traced to the growth in negative partisanship, or a partisan’s intense hatred towards the opposing party that can even overshadow support for their own. In this way, Republicans may dislike President Trump but they’ll still vote for him to make sure that a Democrat loses. This can apply to policy, as well, where a person’s decision to support or oppose a measure may be rooted in what brings more anguish and disappointment to the other side. In a climate context, negative partisanship can translate into conservatives who espouse climate skepticism – even though they may be negatively affected by its consequences – in order to inflict losses upon hated political enemies like Al Gore or environmentalists. However, negative partisanship is not solely constrained to the right and liberals may also fall prey, such as through blanket demonizing the Republican Party.

Alan Abramowitz and Steven Webster. Politico. | 09/05/17

Beliefs about Climate Beliefs: The Importance of Second-Order Opinions for Climate Politics

Americans (including high-level Congressional staffers) underestimate how many of their fellow citizens believe in climate change. But one group is prone to overestimating: Republicans who believe in climate change are overly optimistic about the number of other Republicans who also believe. In general, people tend to believe public opinion on climate is more in line with their own beliefs. Indicating the potential value of correcting these beliefs, the study also found that telling Americans the true level of Chinese belief in climate change (98%) increased their support for the 2014 US-China climate agreement. Hear a discussion on the study at the 20:30 mark of this Energy Gang podcast.

Mildenberger & Tingley, UCSB and Harvard, British Journal of Political Science | 08/23/17

Americans Oppose EPA & Environmental Budget Cuts

Only 22 percent of respondents believe the federal government spends too much on protecting the environment. Nearly two-thirds of Americans oppose cutting funding for the Environmental Protection Agency; programs that reduce pollution in low-income and minority communities; and the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, providers of forecasts and early warnings about dangerous weather and natural disasters. The strongest support for these safeguards and programs—and opposition to cutbacks—is from Democrats and Independents. But a sizable number of Republicans, more than one-third in most cases, also oppose them. 

NRDC and American Viewpoint | 08/10/17

A Majority of Americans Support Net Energy Metering

A majority of Americans (76%) support net energy metering (NEM), a policy that allows small-scale producers of renewable energy (e.g., through rooftop solar panels) to sell excess power back to their electric utility. Support for NEM is highest among self-identified liberals and younger Americans (aged 18-49), two groups that also are more supportive of increasing the use of solar energy in their state. Even so, a majority of political moderates, conservatives, and Americans 50 and over also say they support NEM. While 80% of respondents who do believe there is solid evidence of climate change say they support NEM, even a majority (64%) of respondents who don’t think there is solid evidence of climate change say they support NEM.  

National Surveys on Energy and Environment | 08/10/17

Political Divisions in U.S. Are Widening, Long-Lasting

Democrats are eight times as likely to favor action on climate change as Republicans -- one of a handful of issues where the divisions between Republican and Democrats are widening -- including: gay marriage, gun control, and Black Lives Matter.

Wall Street Journal/NBC News | 08/09/17

Poll: Support for Paris, Even in Trump Counties

By a 16-point margin, Americans in "Trump counties" (ones where President Obama won in 2012 but Trump won in 2016 or where Trump performed at least 20 points higher in 2016 than Romney did in 2012) oppose him "pulling the United States out of the Paris climate change accords with other nations" (48% oppose vs. 32% support). Opposition is much more intense than support, with 37% strongly opposing Trump's decision compared with 20% strongly supporting it. 

NBC News/Wall Street Journal | 07/19/17

Can We Sustain It?

What can we learn from companies about how they win the "battle for our attention" to transform civic engagement from a hobby to a habit? Smart communications can help channel interest or outrage into civic action, that becomes a way of life for new and more experienced activists. A few recommendations: Make it timely, personal, and high-stakes. Inoculate against misinformation and spend time finding common ground. Expand perspectives through experiences. Give people tangible actions to take. Avoid blaming losses on external factors beyond people’s control. Encourage people to form alliances that create and grow power.

Kristen Grimm and Emily Gardner, Spitfire Strategies | 07/11/17

Stop scaring people about climate change. It doesn't work.

Focusing on worst-case climate change impact scenarios can do more harm than good when engaging people around climate, as our brains can in effect shut down if we determine a threat is insurmountable. That's the main message of this brief review of applicable psychology research, written in response to a New York Magazine piece outlining climate change's worst possible impacts.

Eric Holthaus, Grist | 07/10/17

Poll: Climate Change in the American Mind: May 2017

Over half (58%) of Americans understand that climate change is mostly human-caused, the highest level since this ongoing survey began in 2008. Other key findings include that 67% "rarely" or "never" discuss climate change with their friends and family, just 13% understand that nearly all climate scientists are convinced human-caused climate change is happening, and providing a better life for our children and grandchildren is the most popular reason (24%) why Americans want to address climate change. See coverage in Vox.

Leiserowitz, A., Maibach, E., Roser-Renouf, C., Rosenthal, S., & Cutler, M. Yale University and George Mason University | 07/05/17

Climate Convenings Toolkit

The Climate Convening Toolkit shares the essential elements for effective public conversations on climate change, as well as the practical tools for planning and implementing a convening in your community. For a free download of this resource, follow the link.

Climate Generation. | 06/23/17

Poll: Few Americans support U.S. withdrawal from Paris Agreement

Fewer than one third of Americans support Pres. Trump's move to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate accord, and 52 percent think withdrawing from the agreement will hurt the U.S. economy in the long run (compared to just 18 percent who say it will help the economy). In this poll conducted one week after Pres. Trump made his announcement, 51 percent of Republicans said they support the U.S. withdrawing from the agreement, while 69 percent of Democrats oppose it.

Associated Press--NORC Center for Public Affairs Research | 06/11/17

Psychology & Global Climate Change: addressing a multifaceted phenomenon and set of challenges

Although 47% of U.S. adults consider climate change to be a “very serious” problem (and 28% consider it a “somewhat serious” problem), they still see it as a long-term one, and have trouble connecting it with current events, such as shifts in seasonal weather patterns and sea level rise.  A recent paper from the American Psychological Association posits this reaction is a result of the interaction between two of our cognitive systems, analytic reasoning and associative risks. While the anlaytic reasoning system understands climate change is a serious problem, our associative system fails to send the proper warning signals in the brain to those who do not (or cannot) experience the dangers of our changing planet. Further, there are two process that protect us from information we do not want to believe or do not want to have to act on: denial (saying climate change isn't real, and therefore they don't want to think or hear about it) and rationalization, where we come up with reasons for justifying inaction or supporting the idea that the threatening information won’t be so bad. Additional coverage in Paste Magazine

American Psychological Association | 05/31/17

The heart trumps the head: Desirability bias in political belief revision

U.S. voters seek out information to confirm their political desires -- not just their beliefs -- according to a recent study during the 2016 election where people asked which candidate they wanted to win the election, and also which candidate they believed was most likely to win. Each participant then read about recent polling results emphasizing either that Mrs. Clinton or Mr. Trump was more likely to win. Those people who received desirable evidence — polls suggesting that their preferred candidate was going to win — took note and incorporated the information into their subsequent belief about which candidate was most likely to win the election. In contrast, those people who received undesirable evidence barely changed their belief about which candidate was most likely to win. Importantly, this bias in favor of the desirable evidence emerged irrespective of whether the polls confirmed or disconfirmed peoples’ prior belief about which candidate would win. Additional coverage in the New York Times.

Ben Tappin and Ryan McKay, University of London; Leslie van der Leer, Regent’s University London. Journal of Experimental Psychology | 05/31/17

Poll: A Majority Of Americans Wants Trump To Stay In The Paris Agreement

61% percent of Americans said the country should stay in the Paris agreement, while just 17 % supported withdrawing and 21% unsure. 59% said the climate is changing as a result of humans’ burning fossil fuels, industrial farming, and deforestation, compared to 21% who said climate change is not linked to human activity, and 6% who argued the climate hasn’t changed at all. 51% said the U.S. is not taking a leadership role in addressing climate change, and 58% said it should. 20% said the U.S. is leading the charge, and 22% said it ought to take a backseat role. Another 29% weren’t sure where the country stood, and 20% remained undecided on what kind of role the U.S. should play.

HuffPost/YouGov | 05/18/17

A scientist who studies protest says 'the resistance' isn't slowing down

People turning out to recent marches in Washington, DC on climate and other issues are 1) overwhelmingly people who voted for Hillary Clinton, 2) well-educated, 3) 25-30% first-time protesters, 4) broadly motivated in response to the Trump administration, but 5) increasingly diverse in their specific reasons for marching (racial justice, the environment, women's rights, etc.), and 6) continuing to show up to multiple marches. Those are the initial conclusions from sociologist Dana Fisher, who has been surveying march attendees at DC marches since the November election.

Sarah Kaplan, Washington Post | 05/03/17

What Americans Really Think About Climate Change

Most Americans believe in and are worried about climate change, but not enough to overcome the political polarization that surrounds climate change in American society. That's the core conclusion of this piece which draws on public opinion information from a number of recent polls. 

Robinson Meyer, The Atlantic | 04/22/17

69% of American voters support the Paris Agreement

This nationally representative survey conducted after the election found that seven in ten registered voters (69%) say the U.S. should participate in the COP21 agreement, compared with only 13% who say the U.S. should not. Majorities of Democrats (86%) and Independents (61%), and half of Republicans (51%) say the U.S. should participate (including 73% of moderate/liberal Republicans). Only conservative Republicans are split, with marginally more saying the U.S. should participate (40%) than saying we should not participate (34%). 

Almost half of Trump voters (47%) say the U.S. should participate in the Paris agreement, compared with only 28% who say the U.S. should not. 

Leiserowitz, A., Maibach, E., Roser-Renouf, C., Rosenthal, S., & Cutler, M. Yale University and George Mason University. Yale Program on Climate Change Communication | 04/17/17

Poll: Two-Thirds of Americans Take Climate Personally

66% of American voters are "very concerned" or "somewhat concerned" that climate change will affect them or a family member personally, and 62% of voters say that Pres. Trump should not remove policies aimed at combating climate change, according to this national poll fielded March 30-April 3, 2017. 92% of voters say it is "very important" or "somewhat important" for the United States to be energy independent, and 65% say that climate change is caused by human activity. See coverage in Time.  

Quinnipiac University | 04/05/17

Poll: Voters in Both Parties Fret About Climate Change

Two-thirds of registered voters said they are "very" or "somewhat" concerned about “climate change and the impact it’s having on the U.S. environment.” Only 26% of respondents said they were “not too concerned” or “not concerned at all.” Half of Republican respondents were concerned about climate change, while 44% were not. There was an even split among those who voted for Trump in last year’s general election, with 47% worried and the same number not. 

38% of respondents said they believe Trump’s executive order (calling for a review of the Clean Power Plan and ending an Obama administration moratorium on new coal mining leases on federal land) would help the economy, while 28% said it would hurt the economy, and 20% said it would not make much difference. The rate is similar for independents, but nearly double the number of Republicans (62% believe the order would help the economy. 54% of respondents believe the order would hurt the environment, more than quadruple the number who said it would help the environment. (Another 22% said it wouldn’t matter either way.) But among Republicans, less than a third (31%) believe it would hurt the environment and about a fifth think Trump’s order to reduce rules on emissions would actually help the environment.

Morning Consult | 04/01/17

By the numbers, Trump’s big environmental regulation rollback is all kinds of unpopular

Across many different environmental issues, there is broad public support among Americans for the environmental safeguards that the Trump administration is rolling back, as outlined in this thorough summary of recent polling and survey data. 

Emily Guskin, Washington Post | 03/29/17

Poll: Americans Disagree With White House’s Hard-Line Stances On Climate Change

55% of Americans support remaining in the Paris Agreement; 49% say the EPA should fund climate research (vs. 28% declaring the opposite and 23% who are unsure); 57% say the EPA should continue to fund the Energy Star program (vs 19% who support defunding and 23% who are unsure). Opinions were more mixed on how much regulation is necessary, with 28% arguing the current level of regulation is too low; 26% saying the level is about right, and 23% agreeing with the president’s view that it is too high. Additional coverage in the Huffington Post.

Huffpost and YouGov | 03/29/17

Poll: Floridians see climate change as the norm

The majority of Floridians think that human-caused climate change is happening. And most of them—around three out of four—are concerned, according to a recent nonpartisan poll conducted by the Saint Leo University. When asked “How concerned are you about global climate change,” 75.5% of Floridians responded in the affirmative—that they were either somewhat or very concerned, on par with the nationwide average of 75.1%. Among Florida residents, 77.1% believe human activity fuels climate change, and 13.2% blame nature, and less than 10% believe climate change isn't real. 

St. Leo University | 03/24/17

Poll: Americans want to protect environment and clean energy

A new poll shows rising public concern about global warming and an increase in public agreement with scientists on why it's happening. According to Gallup, "68% of Americans — the highest Gallup has recorded — believe increases in Earth's temperatures over the last century are mainly due to the effects of pollution from human activities." Currently, 45% percent worry a "great deal" about global warming, a 13-point jump since 2015.


Gallup | 03/15/17

Just Energy Policies: Model Energy Policies Guide

With a growing understanding of the harmful impact of fossil fuel-based energy production on communities of color and low income communities, this compendium is meant to serve as a resource and help spur states to make sure their energy policies protect communities from harmful energy production processes while simultaneously providing equitable access to economic opportunities in energy efficiency and clean energy.  These model policies provide guidelines for state and local energy policies including renewable portfolio standards, energy efficiency resource standards, net metering, distributed generation, and community-shared renewable energy, as well as equity-focused provisions. Based on industry analysis, these standards are rigorous, yet attainable. If adopted nationwide, these policies will help to prevent climate change, as well as protect the well-being of communities. 


Marcus Franklin, Michael Alksnis & Chiquita Younger, NAACP | 03/10/17

Poll: Moving the needle on American support for a carbon tax

Support among Americans for a carbon tax hit a new high (50%) just before the November 2016 election, and that level of support increased when survey respondents were told the carbon tax revenue would be used for either an income tax rebate (62%) or research and development for renewable energy programs (66%). Support decreased to 42% when respondents were told the revenue would be used for deficit reduction. Also, roughly half of the respondents who said they support each carbon tax option said they "strongly support" it, according to the survey from the National Surveys on Energy and Environment.

Daniel Puskin, American University and Sarah Mills, University of Michigan. Center for Local, State, and Urban Policy | 03/01/17

Renewable energy draws increasing Republican support. That could shift climate politics.

This piece argues that Republican support for clean energy policies could shift the climate discussion in the coming years, as more and more conservative communities in the Midwest see themselves as the clean energy heroes in the climate debate, rather than the villains. 

David Roberts, Vox | 02/16/17

Public engagement with climate change post-Brexit: a centre-right perspective

An analysis of center-right attitudes toward climate and energy issues in the U.K. following the Brexit vote revealed a number of key insights including that:

(1) Participants were very distrusting of elites, large institutions and corporations so it is more effective to amplify trusted local, non-elite voices and emphasise the ‘will of the people’ where there is majority support for a policy or issue.

(2) Special places and landscapes are valued, but human relationships matter more, so use messaging which speaks to that shared sense of pride in who we are as a people, and which reflects that belief and optimism.

(3) Protecting the purity of the family and our environment was a prominent theme -- and technology was as much a threat to this purity as pollution. Therefore, be careful in the promotion of new technologies as part of the solution.

(4) Climate change was not tangible or ‘front of mind’ for participants, so it is important to anchor campaign messages by foregrounding recognised, tangible, localised issues, such as reducing air pollution.

(5) A consistent theme in conversations with the centre-right is a desire for balance. Refer to changes in the weather can be referred to as the climate being ‘out of balance’ and also stress balance as a desirable personal value (e.g. people should not just take but also give something back to society and the economy.)

(6)  It is important to be honest and open about the benefits and challenges of making the shift to renewables. Ensure messages are moderate and balanced in the claims made for renewable energy. Big claims about the transformation of energy systems may backfire.

Christopher Shaw and Adam Corner, Climate Outreach | 02/16/17

Talking Climate: The Science of Climate Change Communication

Social scientists have identified 5 main barriers to understanding climate change: distance, doom, dissonance, denial, and identity. To overcome distance: bring climate impacts close to home, connect issues that matter to your audience, and invoke "legacy." To overcome doom: emphasize solutions and benefits and beware of the overuse of emotional appeals. To overcome dissonance: channel the power of social norms and appeal to group identity. To overcome denial: understand different sources of doubt, don’t repeat the myth, and don’t overload with facts. To overcome identity factors: appeal to identity-based values and social norms. Watch the full webinar here

Jeremy Deaton, Climate Nexus | 02/09/17

Snapchat for Advocacy

Snapchat has 200 million users, half of whom are daily active users, and is also the fastest growing social media platform, reaching about 41% of all 18-34-year-olds.

Step-by-step recommendations for how organizations can leverage Snapchat as a platform for engaging their members in advocacy campaigns: 1. Send supporters the Snapchat info for your target. (The Public Affairs Council keeps a list of Congressional Snapchat accounts.) 2. Give them ideas about what to put in their snapchat (e.g. a personal story, a photo of a sign they made for last weekend’s protest, a photo from right outside a district office) 3. Tell them to send it right to Congress! 4. If your organization does have an account, have supporters snap the photo to your acount too, to help keep track of contacts. 5. Since the platform is inherently less formal than any other social media platform, so be sure to lighten the tone in your messaging.

Aneta Molenda, M+R Strategies | 02/09/17

Poll: Widening partisan gap over dealing with climate change

A majority of Americans (55%) now cite protecting the environment as a top priority, up from 47% in 2016. 

The widest partisan gap on any policy issue is on the importance of dealing with global climate change. 62% of Democrats say this should be a top priority for the president and Congress, vs. just 15% of Republicans – making climate change by far the lowest-ranked of 21 policy priorities among Republicans. Republicans have ranked global climate change – or global warming in surveys prior to 2015 – at or close to the bottom of the list of policy priorities for more than a decade. At the same time, the share of Democrats who rate climate change as a top priority has steadily increased in recent years – from 46% in 2015 to 62% currently. 

There also is a sizable partisan gap over the importance of environmental protection as a policy priority. While 72% of Democrats say protecting the environment should be a top priority for Congress and the president, just 35% of Republicans say this.

Pew Research Center | 01/25/17

Poll: Trump doesn't represent American views on climate change: a visual guide

A thorough summary of polls showing that Americans have a better understanding of climate change, its causes and its impacts than Pres. Trump, and are more supportive of taking action to address the problem as well.

John Sutter, CNN | 01/18/17

Poll: Climate Change in the American Mind: November 2016

More Americans (19%) are "very worried" about global warming than at any point in the last eight years, according to the latest survey (November 2016, post-election) in this series of national surveys. Other key findings include that a majority of Americans (61%) are "very" or "somewhat" worried about global warming, and that 76% of Americans think that schools should teach children about the causes, consequences and potential solutions to global warming.

Leiserowitz, A., Maibach, E., Roser-­‐Renouf, C., Rosenthal, S., & Cutler, M. | 01/18/17

Just Energy: Policies and Practices Action Toolkit

This NAACP toolkit provides a wealth of resources in several modules created to help guide people to discover what their energy needs are, what their vision is, and what they would like to accomplish. The modules are designed to be used by themselves or in accordance with the other modules so that you can build the exact campaign that works for you:

​Module 1: Getting Organized So You Can Organize!

Module 2: Legislative Campaigns for Energy Justice

Module 3: Engaging Your Utility Companies and Regulators

Module 4: Starting Community-Owned Clean Energy Projects

Module 5: Starting an Energy Cooperative

Module 6: Starting a Community Energy Efficiency, Retrofitting, and Weatherization Project

Module 7: Educating and Organizing for Energy Justice

Module 8: Direct Action Campaigning for Energy Justice

Resources, Fact Sheets, Samples, Glossary, and More

This toolkit also works in conjunction with NAACP's Just Energy Policies: Model Energy Policies Guide.

Marcus Franklin, Katherine Taylor, Lorah Steichen, Swetha Saseedhar & Elizabeth Kennedy, NAACP | 01/01/17

Poll: Politics & Global Warming, November 2016

Strong majorities of Americans continue to support U.S. involvement in the Paris climate agreement (69%), setting strict limits on carbon pollution from power plants (70%), and expanding our use of renewable energy (81%), according to this post-election national survey from the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication and the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication. Half of registered voters (51%) think policies to transition away from fossil fuels to clean energy will improve the economy, while 27% think such policies will hurt the economy.  

Leiserowitz, A., Maibach, E., Roser-­‐Renouf, C., Rosenthal, S., & Cutler, M. | 12/13/16

Many Americans are skeptical about scientific research on climate and GM foods

Only 28% of Americans think climate scientists understand the causes of global climate change “very well”. Political ideology is the strongest predictor of this viewpoint: 54% of liberal Democrats say climate scientists understand very well the causes of climate change, compared with 11% of conservative Republicans. Just 27% of Americans say that almost all climate scientists agree human behavior is mostly responsible for climate change. 39% of adults trust climate scientists a lot to give full and accurate information about the causes of climate change. Yet despite their skepticism about scientists, 67% of Americans say climate scientists should have a major role in decision making about climate matters.

Brian Kennedy and Cary Funk, Pew Research Center | 12/12/16

Is There a Climate “Spiral of Silence” in America?

Advocates have opportunities to fill the remarkable silence around climate change among those already engaged in the issue.  Among the two thirds of Americans who are interested in global warming and/or rate it as important, fewer than half hear about it in the media once a month or more; only a quarter hear about it at least monthly from those they know; and more than half rarely or never discuss it with family or friends. Covered by Climate Nexus.

Edward W Maibach, Anthony A. Leiserowitz, Seth Rosenthal, Connie Roser-Renouf, & M. Cutler, Yale University and George Mason University | 09/30/16

There’s one group of Americans that consistently cares about climate change

A good summary of all the polling and surveys showing that Latinos consistently show higher concern about climate change and support for climate action. It also explores some of the likely reasons for this support, including that a) Latinos have stronger ties to people in countries feeling more direct impacts of climate change, b) Latinos are on average younger than other demographic groups (and surveys show younger Americans in general are more supportive of climate action), and c) Latinos perceive themselves as more directly threatened by the impacts of climate change.

Jeremy Deaton, Nexus Media. ThinkProgress | 09/22/16