With the recent vote in California to defeat Proposition 23, we would like think that climate change education and awareness was at an all time high — both amongst Californians and the nation as a whole. According to a recent survey conducted by Yale University’s Project on Climate Change Communication, however, more than half (57%) of Americans received an “F” with regard to their knowledge and education on climate change.
The study demonstrates that it is not the American public’s inability to understand the principles regarding climate change. This is more a case of the media and scientific communities coming up short in appropriately educating the public about climate work progress. Only 11% of those polled consider themselves “well-informed” – a number in dire need of increasing if we’re ever to make a significant difference.
It’s obvious that there is a huge need for climate education to begin in schools and awareness of this is growing. 75% of the survey’s respondents want to see this happen, and (perhaps) even more importantly 68% believe the government should set aside funding to make this happen. With so large a majority in favor of this, we can’t help but be a little shocked at the lack of any large scale push for climate education – especially considering the recent elections.
In order to really drive the points on climate change home and inspire change, a large initiative from the public will almost certainly be needed. With so many (82%) getting their information from TV first, and very little climate change coverage making it to TV, the pressure falls to the internet to lead the charge in informing the public – where 64% currently get their news on climate change.
Fortunately, 61% of respondents said they would use the internet as their first stop for news to learn more about climate change. We’re glad to have our small space on the web to provide information that we really believe is relevant to the preservation of our environment, and we feel it’s important to make sure the information we give can be taken and used to make a difference. Here are some other sites that do their part to keep the public aware and educated about climate change — check them out!
Is there something you would like to learn more about? Leave us a comment and let us know what you think.