Global Warming’s Six Americas


This post is part of an ongoing effort to discover, and provide a venue for, data collection , reports,  and metrics related to the topics of waste, water, energy and transportation.

A graph from the Global Warming’s Six Americas report

Global Warming’s Six Americas is a report released in May of 2009 by the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication, and Yale’s Project on Climate Change Communication,  illuminating American attitudes towards global climate change and climate change policy. The report has the stated premise that “Climate change public communication and engagement efforts must start with the fundamental recognition that people are different and have different psychological, cultural, and political reasons for acting – or not acting– to reduce greenhouse gas emissions”.

The group used data gathered during 2008 from an in-depth questionnaire to assess attitudes, concerns, perceptions, risk values, policy preferences and other identified survey dimensions, ultimately enumerating 6 common response types among Americans at large regarding issues related to global climate change.

The six “types” identified by the report are the Alarmed (18%), the Concerned (33%), the Cautious (19%) , the Disengaged (12%), the Doubtful (11%), and the Dismissive (7%). Each group corresponds to a distinct station on the spectrum of attitudes and responses cataloged by the researchers.

It never hurts to hear it again: with only 5% of the world’s population, America is yet responsible for 25% of greenhouse gas emissions (GGE)s. This, argues the report, is why understanding the diverse views of the American public on climate change is so crucial for and understanding our collective behaviors and for creating effective public education and policy messages.

Read the full “6 Americas” report here.

One comment on “Global Warming’s Six Americas

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