Climate Change in the American Mind – new report from Yale & GMU 4CMay 1, 2009 at 5:25 am | Posted in Climate change communication, Climate change perceptions | Leave a comment
Tags: Climate action, Climate challenge, Climate change, Public perceptions, Research into attitudes
A new report from George Mason University (GMU) Center for Climate Change Communication (4C) and Yale University, is titled Climate Change in the American Mind (see Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies for news).
The 56-page document is definitely worth reading if you are interested in—or find yourself grappling with—climate change communication issues, as it allows you to base your decisions and actions on the latest research undertaken in the United States into American perceptions of the climate challenge.
Also, if you live outside the United States and are not as up-to-date with American attitudes to our global climate challenge as perhaps you could be, you may well find this report reassuring or even enlightening as we march towards Copenhagen in December …
For example, these two paragraphs from the report’s Executive Summary indicate that two-thirds of the 2,164 American adults surveyed in September and October 2008 are aware of the benefits of tackling the toughest problem faced by our generation, and the vast majority of respondents said their nation should act to reduce global warming:
The study also identified the positive outcomes that Americans expect if the nation takes steps to reduce global warming, as well as the outcomes that were most important to them. Two-thirds said that reducing global warming would provide a better life for our children and grandchildren (66%) and would save many plant and animal species from extinction (65%). About half said that it would improve people’s health (54%), free us from dependence on foreign oil (48%), or protect God’s creation (48%). Of these, the outcomes subsequently selected as the most important personally were providing a better life for our children and grandchildren (25%) and protecting God’s creation (19%).
Americans’ primary concerns about taking action to reduce global warming were that it would lead to more government regulation (44%), cause energy prices to rise (31%), or cost jobs and harm our economy (17%). However, among those who foresaw both positive and negative outcomes, 92 percent said that despite their concerns, the nation should act to reduce global warming.