Yale University — which has a center devoted to climate change communications — and George Mason University issued a series of reports about what action Americans are taking to fight so-called climate change and found that only a small minority of Americans have signed a petition or donated money for the cause.
The academics behind the latest poll emphasize the majorities found among Americans, such as 52 percent who say they have purchased an energy-efficient kitchen appliance and 89 percent use energy-efficient lightbulbs in their homes, “including about seven in ten (71 percent) who say ‘all’ or ‘most’ of their lightbulbs are energy efficient.”
The report also said 63 percent of people have accepted the talking point that eating less red meat — beef, lamb, and pork — can help the planet.
They also connected how people set their thermostats in hot and cold weather with concern about climate change — a “majority of Americans (62 percent) say they set their thermostats to 68 degrees or cooler in the winter at least some of the time.
Additionally, most (54 percent) say they set their thermostats to 76 degrees or warmer in the summer or use less air conditioning at least some of the time.”
But when it comes to direct action and climate change most Americans are not involved in the cause, according to the analysis:
- Only 15 percent of Americans say they actually have signed a petition about global warming at least once
- Only 13 percent have donated money to an organization working on global warming at least once
- Only 6 percent have volunteered their time to an organization working on global warming at least once.
And academics included what people might do to fight climate change:
- (52 percent) say they would sign a petition about global warming.
- About three in ten or more say they would donate money (33 percent) or volunteer time (31 percent) to an organization working on global warming. However, in the past year, only 15 percent of Americans say they actually have signed a petition about global warming at least once
- More than one in four Americans (28 percent) say they would write or phone government officials about global warming; fewer (8 percent), however, say they have done so at least once in the past 12 months.
- About three in ten Americans (29 percent) say they are “definitely” or “probably” willing to join a campaign to convince elected officials to take action to reduce global warming
- Three in ten Americans (35 percent) say they “definitely” or “probably” would participate in such a campaign specifically to convince local elected officials. “However, only one percent of Americans say they are currently participating in either type of campaign,” the analysis said.
The poll was conducted March 18 – 29, 2021 of 1,037 adults 18 and older and has an average margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.
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