ecoAmerica’s most recent contribution to the National Environmental Health Association’s Journal of Environmental Health, “Climate Change: Everyone, Every Day” is now available in the March 2022 issue.
If you follow the polls on climate change, you will discover something interesting: 74% of people in the U.S. are concerned about climate change, with 46% saying they are very concerned. When you ask them if others around them are concerned, however, only 23% say others around them are very concerned. That is one-half the number of people who are actually very concerned about this issue (ecoAmerica, 2020). The gap in actual versus perceived climate concern contributes to inaction on the issue and points to the increasingly urgent need for visible climate leadership and engagement. While 74% of respondents say they are concerned about climate change, 6% report that they hear people they know talking about climate change at least once per week and 13% say it is once a month. That leaves 81% who speak about it a few times a year or less (Leiserowitz et al., 2021). Why, if so concerned about climate change, don’t people talk about it?