Attitudes about climate change continue to evolve in the United States, according to the latest national survey.
Henry David Thoreau would be so proud. It appears that one in four Americans would now support peaceful civil disobedience against organizations that are making global warming worse, according to the latest survey report by the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication and George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication.
But that’s not all. One in eight would even be willing to take part personally in civil disobedience. The survey also found that people are most likely to discuss global warming face-to-face, rather than via social media, for instance, and are most likely to be spurred into action by friends or family.
Among some other findings:
45 percent would sign a petition about global warming.
36 percent would attend a public meeting or presentation about global warming.
35 percent would attend a neighborhood meeting to discuss global warming actions people can take.
32 percent would pledge to vote for political candidates that share their views on global warming.
What does this mean? Perhaps it means that politicians like Washington Governor Jay Inslee, who campaigned and won with heavy emphasis on climate change action, are on the right track. It also suggests that those politicians who continue to deny the science could be in trouble. Or not. We’ll see.
I have an opinion on this, based on watching this debate grow over the last 20 years. It is summed up by an ambassador from an endangered island nation whom I interviewed years ago. He told me he hoped one day we would look back on our dependence on fossil fuels in the same way we now look back on slavery — with amazement that we were so reluctant to give up such madness.
I hope he is right. It remains to be seen if Americans can make the shift this time around in a more civilized manner than they did to end slavery.
IMAGE: About 200 activists stage a sit-in outside the US State Department in opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline on August 12, 2013, in Washington, DC. (PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)