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Knowledge / Climate Literacy

April 09 2014

New Commentary Urges Climate Scientists to “Set the Record Straight”

New Commentary Urges Climate Scientists to “Set the Record Straight”

We just published a commentary in Earth’s Future, a new online, open-access journal published by the American Geophysical Union.  The commentary is entitled: “Climate Scientists Need to Set the Record Straight: There is a scientific consensus that human-caused climate change is happening.”

In the commentary, we argue that the climate science community needs to do more to communicate the scientific consensus because: (a) most Americans don’t know there is a scientific consensus on this point; (b) this lack of awareness undermines people’s engagement in the issue; and (c) research by our team – and others – has shown that simple messages that communicate this basic scientific conclusion are highly effective, especially with political conservatives.

We encourage you to download the commentary and join the effort to set the record straight.

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Topics: Knowledge / Climate Literacy Risk Communication
February 24 2014

CNN’s Carol Costello Interviews Anthony Leiserowitz on Why Climate Change Isn’t A Debate

Following up on her Sunday op-ed, CNN's Carol Costello sat down with YPCCC Director, Dr. Anthony Leiserowitz today to discuss why Americans continue to contend that climate change isn't happening.

 

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Topics: Attitudes & Beliefs Knowledge / Climate Literacy Media Risk Perceptions
January 23 2014

Extreme Weather and Climate Change in the American Mind in November 2013

Extreme Weather and Climate Change in the American Mind in November 2013

Highlights:

  • Compared to the record-setting extreme weather disaster years of 2011 and 2012, the year 2013 in the United States was relatively calm, with no land-falling hurricanes, fewer tornadoes, and drought relief in the Great Plains. In turn, fewer Americans say they experienced an extreme weather event last year. People in the Northeast, Midwest, and South, however, were more likely to report experiencing extreme cold or a snowstorm in 2013 than they did in 2012.
  • Over half of Americans (56%) say “global warming is affecting weather in the United States.”
  • A large majority of Americans say their state and local government should make it a priority to protect public water supplies (78%), transportation/roads/bridges (73%), people’s health (72%), the electricity system (71%), agriculture (70%), and public sewer systems (69%) from extreme weather over the next 10 years.

 

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Topics: Attitudes & Beliefs Citizen Behavior Knowledge / Climate Literacy Risk Perceptions
January 16 2014

Climate Change in the American Mind: Americans’ Global Warming Beliefs and Attitudes in November 2013

Climate Change in the American Mind: Americans’ Global Warming Beliefs and Attitudes in November 2013

The most recent national Climate Change in the American Mind survey found that 1 in 4 Americans think that global warming is not happening, and half say they are "worried" about it. 

Other highlights include:

  • There has been an increase in the proportion of Americans who believe global warming is not happening (23%, up 7 percentage points since April 2013). But about two in three Americans (63%) believe global warming is happening, a number that has been consistent since spring 2013.
  • The proportion of Americans who say they “don’t know” whether or not global warming is happening has dropped 6 points – from 20% to 14% – since spring of 2013.
  • About half of Americans (51%) say they are “somewhat” (38%) or “very worried” (15%) about global warming.
  • Fewer than half of Americans (38%) believe they personally will be harmed a “moderate amount” or a “great deal” by global warming.
  • By contrast, majorities believe that global warming will harm future generations of people (65%) and plant and animal species (65%).
  • About four in 10 say they feel “helpless” (43%), “disgusted” (42%), or “sad” (40%) when thinking about global warming.
  • By contrast, four in ten (42%), say they feel “hopeful” about the subject.

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Topics: Attitudes & Beliefs Emotion / Affect / Imagery Knowledge / Climate Literacy Risk Perceptions Six Americas
January 11 2014

Anthony Leiserowitz on MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry Show

On Saturday, January 11th, 2013, YPCCC Director Anthony Leiserowitz spent the morning discussing, among other things, the parallels between climate change and the smoking debate on MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry Show.  Watch the conversation below.

Segment 1:

 
Segment 2:
 

 

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Topics: Attitudes & Beliefs Citizen Behavior Health Knowledge / Climate Literacy Media Outreach Projects Politics / Elections Risk Communication Risk Perceptions
October 02 2013

Discussing Climate Change in the American Mind at the Architecture League of NY

On October 2, 2013, YPCCC Director Anthony Leiserowitz sat down with Dale Jamieson, Kate Orff, and Paul Lewis for a panel on "Climate Change and the American Mind" as a part of the Architecture League of New York's "The 5000 Pound Life" event.

 

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Topics: Attitudes & Beliefs Emotion / Affect / Imagery Knowledge / Climate Literacy Outreach Projects Risk Perceptions Six Americas
September 10 2013

Climate Change in the Californian Mind

Climate Change in the Californian Mind

Highlights:

  • Most Californians (79%) believe global warming is happening, while only 11% believe it is not.  
  • Over half (58%) believe that if global warming is happening, it is mostly due to human activities.
  • A majority (55%) also believes that most scientists think global warming is happening.

Of those who believe global warming is happening, large majorities say that:

  • Global warming is already having an influence on the severity of heat waves (96%), wildfires (91%), and droughts (90%) in California.
  • Over the next 50 years, climate change will cause more heat waves (93%), droughts and water shortages (92%), declining numbers of fish and native wildlife (91%), increased allergies, asthma, infectious diseases, or other health problems (86%), and more power outages (84%) in the state.

The study also found that Californians support more climate action:

  • Six in ten want more action by Governor Brown, the state legislature, and local government officials.
  • Even more say corporations and industry (73%) and citizens themselves (70%) should be doing more to address the issue.

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Topics: Attitudes & Beliefs Citizen Behavior Consumer Behavior Energy Use / Conservation Knowledge / Climate Literacy Policy Support Risk Perceptions Trust
September 04 2013

Climate Change in the Coloradan Mind

Climate Change in the Coloradan Mind

Highlights:

  • Most Coloradans (70%) believe global warming is happening. Relatively few—only 19%— believe it is not.
  • Nearly half (48%) believe global warming is caused mostly by human activities.
  • Coloradans think global warming is important and are worried about it. Three in four (73%) say the issue of global warming is very or somewhat important to them personally. And six in ten (59%) are at least somewhat worried about it.
  • Among those who believe global warming is happening, 70% believe it is currently contributing to increased droughts and decreased snowpack, and 66% believe it is exacerbating wildfires.
  • About half of Coloradans (48%) say they have personally experienced global warming’s effects.
  • More than half of Coloradans say that more should be done about global warming at all levels of government—from President Obama and Congress, to Governor Hickenlooper and the state legislature, to local government officials. However, even larger numbers of Coloradans believe that corporations and industry (67%) and citizens themselves (66%) should be doing more to address climate change.
  • Half of Coloradans (52%) say that switching from fossil fuels to clean energy sources would increase economic growth and the number of jobs

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Topics: Attitudes & Beliefs Citizen Behavior Consumer Behavior Energy Use / Conservation Knowledge / Climate Literacy Policy Support Risk Perceptions Trust
May 21 2013

Global Warming’s Six Indias

Global Warming’s Six Indias

A new national study in India finds six distinct groups within the Indian public that respond to the issue of climate change in very different ways. These "Six Indias" include:

  • The Informed (19%)
  • The Experienced (24%)
  • The Undecided (15%)
  • The Unconcerned (15%)
  • The Indifferent (11%)
  • The Disengaged (16%)

 

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Topics: Attitudes & Beliefs Citizen Behavior Consumer Behavior Energy Use / Conservation International Surveys Knowledge / Climate Literacy Policy Support Risk Perceptions Six Americas Trust Values & Religion Vulnerability & Resilience
May 09 2013

Americans’ Global Warming Beliefs and Attitudes in April 2013

Americans’ Global Warming Beliefs and Attitudes in April 2013

Highlights

  • Nearly two in three Americans (63%) believe global warming is happening. Relatively few – only 16 percent – believe it is not. However, since Fall 2012, the percentage of Americans who believe global warming is happening has dropped 7 points to 63%, likely influenced by the relatively cold winter of 2012-13 in the United States and an unusually cold March just before the survey was conducted.
  • Those who believe global warming is happening are more certain of their convictions than those who do not. Of the 63% of Americans who believe global warming is happening, most say they are “very” (33%) or “extremely sure” (27%). By contrast, of the unconvinced, fewer are very (28%) or extremely sure of their view (18%).
  • About half of Americans (49%) believe global warming – if it is happening – is caused mostly by human activities, a decrease of 5 points since Fall 2012, but similar to levels stretching back several years.

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Topics: Attitudes & Beliefs Knowledge / Climate Literacy Risk Perceptions
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