Climate Change in the American Mind


Published on Mar 7, 2014

Speaker: Dr. Anthony Leiserowitz, Director, Yale Project on Climate Change Communication, Yale University

Public understanding of human-caused climate change and support for actions to reduce its damaging global impact have shifted dramatically in recent years. Recent surveys show that, since a sharp drop five years ago, there’s been a promising upswing in public acceptance of climate change science and support for reducing hazardous greenhouse gas emissions.

Anthony Leiserowitz, Ph.D., a leading expert on national and international public opinion about climate change, will talk about recent trends in Americans’ global warming knowledge, attitudes, policy support, and behavior. He will also discuss the influential role of the media, strategies for improving public engagement, and how the U.S. compares to countries such as China and India.

Dr. Leiserowitz is a research scientist at the Yale University School of Forestry & Environmental Studies who investigates the psychological, cultural, and political factors that influence environmental attitudes. The most recent studies by the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication found that large majorities of Americans support national action on global warming, with 8 in 10 saying that the U.S. should make an effort to reduce global warming, even if it has economic costs; and 7 in 10 saying that global warming should be a priority for the President and Congress. The researchers concluded that, despite the wide partisan gap, “there is also some common ground on which the nation could build an effective response to climate change.” The surveys were conducted jointly with the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication.
Leiserowitz’s climate change research spans the global, national and local scales, including New York City; Florida and Alaska; and the Inupiaq Eskimo of NW Alaska in the US. He conducted the first study of worldwide public values, attitudes, and behaviors regarding sustainability, including environmental protection, economic prosperity, and human development.

Global Climate Change
Environmental Justice
Environment Ethics

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