Editor's note: Rachel Dreyfus is president of Dreyfus Advisors. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Anna Price is research analyst at Dreyfus Advisors. She can be reached at email@example.com.
Americans are increasingly concerned about climate change, particularly young adults, BIPOC communities and liberal-leaning voters.1-4 Informed by more than 30 publicly available research reports, the following post-COVID-19 research roundup of Americans’ beliefs, eco-friendly behaviors and perceived climate change solutions is a snapshot of a topic with fast-changing perceptions. We also examine the psychology behind Americans’ climate change perceptions and behaviors with a focus on how companies and non-profit organizations might leverage this information to not only enhance their mission and brand but also enable Americans to fulfill their vision for a healthier planet.
For the purposes of this article, climate change is “a long-term change in the average weather patterns that have come to define Earth’s local, regional and global climates.”32 Changes are driven by human activity (e.g., burning fossil fuels) and are observed through a number of indicators, such as ice lost at Earth’s poles, rising sea levels, increases in frequency and severity of extreme weather, biodiversity loss and more.
That climate change is on the collective mind and nerves is not disputed – beyond activists, government and the news media, pop culture now reflects concern around the issue. Artistic works as disparate as the 2021 Netflix movie “Don’t Look Up,” comedian Bo Burnham’s “That Funny Feeling” (with more than 6.2 million YouTube views) and 2019’s off-Broadway play ”Hooked on Happiness” have attempted to tackle the topic. Reflecting care and desire for change, these examples represent a growing form of infotainment designed to break through to those who aren’t paying attention.
But how can NGO...