In the round up this week: diverse perspectives on environmental justice, zoos and aquariums making change, and new research. I’ve tried to keep descriptions brief this round up because there’s so much good stuff!
If you’re a science communicator or educator at an informal science center (such as a zoo, aquarium, or museum) trying to encourage conservation action – this is the round up for you! Every week we break down the most interesting recent news and best resources to help you frame the issues as effectively as possible.
Americans: green, or greenbacks?
A new study from the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication entitled Americans’ Actions to Limit Global Warming (April 2013) has been released to much discussion. It takes a look at green consumer and civic behaviors and attitudes. Notably, half of Americans “occasionally” consider environmental impacts when making a purchase, and many plan to buy energy efficient appliances. Almost four out of ten (38%) of Americans said they would be willing to join a political campaign to advocate for climate change action!
Chris Mooney, for Mother Jones, rains on the parade a little with a deeper dig into the data. Since 2008, fewer Americans believe their individual actions to save energy will reduce global warming, and there’s been no real increase in their advocacy actions. Still – the potential is there if we can tap it!
A diversity of opinions
The environmental movement in America has traditionally been, unfortunately, rather homogenous (white and upper class), but the people most negatively affected by environmental degradation aren’t. Here are some interesting articles about and from people fighting for a healthy environment and healthy underserved communities.
Coal Pollution and the Fight For Environmental Justice
Jacqueline Patterson, the Environmental and Climate Justice Director for NAACP, talks about how coal pollution (and seriously, ALL pollution in general) disproportionately impacts communities of color, and the difficulties environmental justice groups have faced trying to work with big green NGOs.
Re-Made in the Shade
OnEarth looks at two intersecting issues – the rising risk of heat deaths in cities, and the higher risk of minority populations to live in high heat risk areas. It’s another less-than-obvious but deadly consequence of racial divisions and subsequent mistreatment in urban areas.
Climate? Si se puede!
Research by The Ocean Project and many, many, MANY(!) others continue to highlight the power of Latino voters and communities for environmental action. Sightline wraps up the background info in this blog post about a recent letter from national Latino organizations to President Obama, making the moral argument for action on climate change.
Zoos and aquariums making change
As always, our first priority is our zoo and aquarium partners working hard to communicate with their visitors for conservation action.
Applying research, inspiring recycling
Our recent blog post from Douglas Meyer reports on the successes and challenges of two of our aquarium partners – Virginia Aquarium and Texas State Aquarium – to reduce littering from their visitors, inspired by our research and work with them.
Global climate change as seen by zoo and aquarium visitors
This report from our partners at the Chicago Zoological Society is a must-read for those interested in informal science education/communication. The Climate Literacy Zoo Education Network (CliZEN) conducted this national survey with fifteen United States zoos and aquariums and reports on attitudes and behaviors.