Data Points Referenced
7 Steps to Impact Climate Change
Thank you for joining the webinar version of our SXSW Presentation: 7 Steps to Impact Climate Change. Brett Jenks delivered a fact-filled presentation, and many of you asked for a consolidated version of key facts, figures and source references. For more context, you can view the Zoom webinar here
“Americans are increasingly alarmed (31%) and concerned (26%).”
Six Americas Survey – Yale Program on Climate Change Communication
“72% of Americans Believe Global Warming is Happening”
Yale Program on Climate Change Communication, Climate Change in the American Mind, November 2019
“55% of Americans believe they can and should do more personally to make a difference on climate change.”
(Rare 2019, Carbon Offsets Phase 2 Survey)
In a Rare study in the fall of 2019, Americans were asked what they could do about climate change. 60.6% of Americans said “recycle” and the second most popular answer at 45% was to “use less plastic”. (Rare, 2019)
“While recycling and using less plastic are both important environmental conservation goals, they rank lower than 50th based on impact.”
Rare Center for Behavior & the Environment, Climate Change Needs Behavior Change, 2018
If each of the behaviors was adopted by 10% of the American population our model projects a potential carbon reduction of 473 MtCO2e/year (473 metric tons of carbon dioxide each year). This would close the above referenced projected gap to the 2025 Paris goal by 75%.
Rare, Changing Behaviors to Reduce U.S. Emissions: Seven Pathways to Achieve Climate Impact, 2019
“The power of dynamic norms: We adjust when we see the herd moving”
Sparkman, G., & Walton, G. M. (2017). Dynamic Norms Promote Sustainable Behavior, Even if It Is Counternormative. Psychological Science, 28(11), 1663–1674
“We need 10% of Americans to shift one quintile to the left. So for the average American, that would mean (the equivalent of) half a hamburger per day.”
Heller, M., Willits-Smith, A., Meyer, R., Keoleian, G. and Rose, D. (2018). Greenhouse gas emissions and energy use associated with production of individual self-selected US diets. Environmental Research Letters. 13. 044004. 10.1088/1748-9326/aab0ac.
“97% of Americans overestimate the cost of solar.”
Sunrun (2012). New Data Shows 97% of Americans Overestimate the Cost of Installing Solar Panels.
“According to nonprofit organization Cool Effect, the average American’s carbon footprint is 16.6 tonnes, which as of today costs $130.64 to offset.”
“The cost of solar panels has dropped 80% since 2008.”
Solar Energy Industry Association (2019)
“Why do people put solar on their roofs? Because other people put solar on their roofs.”
Mooney, C. (2014). The Washington Post.
“Researchers found that the pattern of rooftop solar installations in Connecticut didn’t follow population density or income level, but rather the presence of other solar arrays.This is evidence of “spatial neighbor effects”, often known as ‘peer effects’: the number of solar installations surrounding households increases the number of adoptions in that cluster.”
Graziano, M. and Gillingham, K. (2014). Spatial patterns of solar photovoltaic system adoption: The influence of neighbors and the built environment. Journal of Economic Geography. 15. 10.1093/jeg/lbu036.
“According to EPA, 22% of municipal discarded waste is food waste.”
“When food goes to the landfill, it’s similar to tying food in a plastic bag. The nutrients in the food never return to the soil. The wasted food rots and produces methane gas.”
“Driving an EV offers a lower 5-year total cost of ownership.”
Shahan, Z. (2019). Tesla Model 3 vs. Toyota Camry — 5 Year Cost of Ownership Comparisons
“Video illustrating Bystander Effect”