Climate Change in the American Mind

The Five Thousand Pound Life: Climate Change in the American Mind | Anthony Leiserowitz | Recorded October 2, 2013 | Running time: 17:14

ARC_5KL_square_white_crop190On October 2, 2013, during the opening event of The Five Thousand Pound Life, Anthony Leiserowitz gave a talk (excerpted above) framing the different ways in which Americans perceive the threat of climate change, how we understand our collective and individual capacity to address it, and how willing we are to act on our understanding. Leiserowitz examined the underlying values that are reflected in our various views of climate change, and the extent to which those views are based on cultural predispositions rather than scientific data.

As the director of the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication, Anthony Leiserowitz has led research studies, repeated over a number of years, that have identified “six Americas,” each responding differently to climate change. His work is based on the premise that communication about climate change can only be effective if it is based on an understanding of the factors that influence how that communication is received.

Climate Change in the American Mind: Panel | Dale Jamieson, Kate Orff, Anthony Leiserowitz, and Paul Lewis | Recorded October 2, 2013 | Running time: 24:57

Following Leiserowitz’s presentation, Dale Jamieson, Paul Lewis, and Kate Orff offered responses (excerpted above).

Leiserowitz and Lewis also participated in the League’s short interview: 5KL: Four Questions.

Anthony Leiserowitz, Ph.D., is a research scientist at the Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and Director of the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication. He is an expert on public opinion about climate change and the environment. His research investigates the psychological, cultural, and political factors that influence environmental attitudes, policy support, and behavior. He conducts research at the global, national, and local scales, including many surveys of the American public.

Dale Jamieson is professor of environmental studies and philosophy at New York University and author of the forthcoming Reason in a Dark Time: Why the Struggle to Stop Climate Change Failed–and Why Our Choices Still Matter. Paul Lewis is a principal of LTL Architects and a faculty member in the School of Architecture at Princeton University. Landscape architect Kate Orff is a principal of SCAPE/Landscape Architecture and a faculty member in the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation at Columbia University. Their discussion will address how the diversity of our values and understandings of climate change affect our individual and collective capacity to act, and will draw out the significance of this spectrum of views for actions affecting the built environment.

For more information about The Five Thousand Pound Life, including an introductory essay, click here.