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Article

Assessment of Climate Change Sentiment, Engagement and Adaptation through a Community-Based Outreach Campaign and Questionnaire across the United States

1
Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, Program in Public Health, University of California, Irvine, CA 92697, USA
2
School of Education, University of California, Irvine, CA 92697, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Earth 2020, 1(1), 75-96; https://doi.org/10.3390/earth1010006
Received: 24 October 2020 / Revised: 13 November 2020 / Accepted: 16 November 2020 / Published: 17 November 2020
(1) Background: Human activity is warming the planet and destabilizing the climate through greenhouse gas emissions, which underscores the need for climate communication to overcome barriers to action. (2) Methods: We launched a five-month campaign that included questionnaires (n = 500) and one-on-one interviews (n = 24) to assess climate change sentiment, engagement, adaptation, as well as understand who climate outreach reaches and the observations and concerns such groups report across the U.S. so as to better understand the local context of climate change and enable more effective climate communication and outreach in the future. (3) Results: Results showed outreach efforts to mostly reach college educated Caucasians who identified as Democrats. “Future generations” was the most frequently ranked climate concern, with the economy, property value, and national security ranked last. Communities frequently observed hotter temperatures, increased flooding, and species impacts. Among “climate-concerned” individuals, the majority reported never contacting a local politician about climate change. College students least frequently reported climate change as a top priority and reported a low frequency of civic engagement on the issue. In-person interviews highlighted climate impacts disproportionately affecting low-income communities and communities of color, such as heat-related mortality and gentrification. Climate adaptation strategies were underway, but mostly among farmers, ecologists, and non-governmental organizations (NGO) workers. (4) Discussion: This study helps inform elected officials, urban planners, and climate communicators as it relates to the allocation of resources for climate adaptation and education, and highlights key knowledge gaps that deserve focus by future outreach efforts. View Full-Text
Keywords: climate change; global warming; questionnaire; climate communication; climate survey climate change; global warming; questionnaire; climate communication; climate survey
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MDPI and ACS Style

Masri, S.; Simolaris, A.; Hopfer, S.; Wu, J. Assessment of Climate Change Sentiment, Engagement and Adaptation through a Community-Based Outreach Campaign and Questionnaire across the United States. Earth 2020, 1, 75-96. https://doi.org/10.3390/earth1010006

AMA Style

Masri S, Simolaris A, Hopfer S, Wu J. Assessment of Climate Change Sentiment, Engagement and Adaptation through a Community-Based Outreach Campaign and Questionnaire across the United States. Earth. 2020; 1(1):75-96. https://doi.org/10.3390/earth1010006

Chicago/Turabian Style

Masri, Shahir, Athina Simolaris, Suellen Hopfer, and Jun Wu. 2020. "Assessment of Climate Change Sentiment, Engagement and Adaptation through a Community-Based Outreach Campaign and Questionnaire across the United States" Earth 1, no. 1: 75-96. https://doi.org/10.3390/earth1010006

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