Anyone paying attention to the news on climate change in 2017 has learned about record-setting
climate impacts, dire predictions, and over 30 rollbacks of important protections at the federal
level. The abundance of negative news has the potential to deflate aspiration into resignation, and
motivation into fatalism. Despite all of the bad news, however, there is a glimmer of hope.
The December 2017 American Climate Perspectives Survey, by ecoAmerica and Lake
Research Partners, found notable year-over-year rises in American climate action and advocacy.
Since 2016, more Americans are discussing climate change with a variety of audiences including
their family and friends, colleagues, fellow congregants, and the general public, as shown in the graph below:
Nearly 7 in 10 Americans say they discuss climate change with family and friends and about four in ten discuss climate change with their colleagues at work. Within the past year there has also been a 10-point increase in Americans reporting they discuss climate change where they worship. The rates of those who have spoken at a public gathering about the importance of climate change have doubled. Furthermore, personal action is high with two-thirds of Americans reporting they have made energy efficiency upgrades in their home. There has been a 9-point increase, to over one-fifth of Americans, who have purchased wind or solar energy for their home.
Increases in personal climate action are bolstered by a parallel rise in climate concern among Americans:
While total concern has remained at a high of 76% in the past two years, there has been a 13-point increase since 2015 for those reporting they are “very concerned” about climate change, indicating an steady upward trend for those most concerned.
The high levels of concern are evidence that Americans have all heard, and heeded, the problem with climate change. The results point to a clear opportunity for climate advocates to increase efforts to reach and connect with Americans, to focus on solutions and benefits, and provide them opportunities to act on climate.
You can download the report here.
For more information contact Meighen Speiser, ecoAmerica Chief Engagement Officer at meighen@ecoAmerica.org
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