Tuesday, October 14, 2008

EcoAmerica's Climate Values Survey

The American Climate Values Survey assesses contemporary climate and environmental values and motivations to provide information and insights to advocates who want to increase the effectiveness of their efforts. It is an Ecoamerica project, sponsored by the Alliance for Climate Protection, the Department of Conservation of the State of California, NRDC, and The Nature Conservancy.

According to the Survey report:
Public support remains a strategic gap and grave weakness in achieving effective
climate solutions. This problem is complicated by the unfathomably huge, distant, abstract and complex nature of global warming and exacerbated by legacy carbon interests using sophisticated consumer marketing. Those interests spent a staggering $208 million in advertising in the first half of 2008 to influence public opinion. Climate action advocates barely compete in this arena.

While 73% of Americans believe that global warming is happening, only half (54%) of Republicans believe it is real, compared with almost all (90%) Democrats surveyed. Similarly, 34% of Republicans think “global warming is not a problem,” versus 7% of Democrats.

It sounds like the carbon lobby is getting it's money's worth in terms of confusing people about the reality of global warming. The ACVS provides a roadmap for people (like us) to get people motivated to fight for the environment we all share. We have to tie the conversation in to daily life: the cost of heat, gasoline, and food; severe storms; food insecurity. When people see that global warming is having a very direct and measurable effect on their daily lives, they will be willing to bring political and societal pressure to bear on fighting climate change, and join to find individual and collective solutions to our energy, transportation, and food needs. Stay positive, stay upbeat, use facts, focus on building support. Perhaps you can host a Conscious Consuming Discussion series, a "Bike/Bus to Work" Day, a local foods potluck, or a movie screening of an upbeat film like "King Corn." You can also get involved with some of ecoamerica's programs by contacting their Executive Director, Lee Bodner, at lee@ecoAmerica.org.


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