Brulle, R.J. (2010). From environmental campaigns to advancing the public dialog: Environmental communication to civic engagement. Environmental Communication 4 (1) 82-98.
This article is based on an analysis of the results of more than 40 public opinion surveys taken during the period from 1989 through 2004, with special attention given to surveys taken during the period 2000-2004. The data indicate that a substantial majority of the US public wants the government to do more about the problem of global warming, and they do not support key elements of the Bush administration policies. In particular, they would like the USA to participate in the Kyoto Protocol. Further, a majority prefers mandatory, rather than voluntary, emission reductions by industry; and a majority supports US economic assistance for mitigation projects in developing countries. The level of US public concern has been nearly as high as among European publics. Gaps between US public opinion and US leaders' opinions had been evident in earlier years, with the public exhibiting more concern and more support for new policies; but evidence from 2004 suggests that support among US leaders for the Kyoto Protocol may have risen to approximate the level of public support. Yet, there is also evidence that many US leaders remain unaware of the extent of public support for more action, and of public opposition to recent US administration policies. Altogether, these findings and others reported in the article indicate that there is already a public consensus. However, the national administration during 2001-2004 and many members of Congress have not only been outside that public consensus but are perhaps not even aware of it. The consensus-building process for support for climate change mitigation thus appears to have progressed more than is commonly recognized. A more widespread recognition of the state of public opinion, especially by members of Congress and their staff as well as business leaders, would fundamentally alter the political dynamics of climate change policymaking in the USA.
(2010). From environmental campaigns to advancing the public dialog: Environmental communication to civic engagement. Environmental Communication
4 (1), 82-98.
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