Monday, February 4, 2008

Green attitudes: same old action

The good news from a USA Today article reporting on a recent poll, is that a majority of Americans considers global warming to be "a very serious problem. The bad news is that it's a slim majority (62%) and that a very small percentage of those who support taking "green" action to mitigate global warming are taking the actions they advocate.

The author of the study, Edward Maibach - head of the climate center at George Mason University - observed that there's a strong need to raise more awareness of the situation and cited growing concern among behavior experts that "there has been too much fear-mongering and not enough emphasis on what people can do." Unfortunately, the acknowledgement of the problem reflects the political divide in the country.

Democrats are about three times more likely than Republicans to see high danger in global warming and think they can do something about it. But Democrats are living only slightly more green than Republicans.
Hey, folks, the climate is non-partisan!

This is where I'm convinced that local focus on the potential impacts of climate change on the places where people live and work is the most direct route to getting them to engage in the issue. It's not abstract when you look at global warming through the lens of your own experience. If you can visualize dramatic change in terms of how it may affect your daily life, it's that much more real to you. And it frames the answer to the question, "what can people do?"

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