Weekly Round Up: tis the season for energy polls

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 Friday we break down the week’s most interesting news and best resources to help you frame the issues as effectively as possible. 


For environmental educators

CLiZEN Study: What does this data say about our visitors?
Alejandro Grajal, Senior Vice President of Conservation, Education, and Training at the Chicago Zoological Society gave this talk discussing the Climate Literacy Zoo Education Network (CLiZEN) study focused on audience attitudes related to climate change at zoos and aquariums. Well worth a watch via Climate Interpreter. Note: you may need to be logged in to watch.


Climate change included in US science teaching guidelines for the first time
The Next Generation Science Standards  are optional, but this is a big milestone for US educational standards. Grist soberly notes that the final climate change curriculum included in the standards are significantly watered down however.


Tis the season to be polling

Fact Sheet: Polling the American Public on Climate Change
It’s that time of year again: the major polling outfits are releasing their new data. The Environmental and Energy Study Institute makes it easy to get updated by compiling results of the recent Pew Center, Duke, Yale/George Mason, Stanford, and Brookings Institute polls in one place – including pretty graphs. Thanks to these guys and h/t to ClimateAccess.

The takeaway: climate concern is on the rise across party lines, more minorities want the president to take steps to address it, and a majority of Americans support clean, renewable energy.

Americans Still Divided on Energy-Environment Trade-Off
Don’t forget Gallup polls! Their new survey has found that Americans are split on whether the US should prioritize energy production (46%) or environmental protection (45%) when the goals conflict. Interestingly, the survey found young Americans were more likely to give preference to environmental protection. Either way, 59% think we should prioritize alternative, renewable energy sources over “traditional” energy.

For more insight into Americans and energy opinion, check out this poll from The University of Texas at Austin.

This bonus Gallup poll which speaks for itself: Republican Skepticism Toward Global Warming Eases.

Climate Change’s Big Tax on Americans
The previously linked Gallup poll found that Americans don’t support a tax on carbon – Mindy Lubber argues we’re already being taxed heavily to deal with the extreme climate effects that carbon pollution has created. On a related note, a new report has found that nearly 80% of Americans have been hit by extreme weather disaster since 2007.


Misc. and thoughts

Apparently climate change threatens wine production and will cause bumpier flights. Honestly, it’s hard to get too worked up about those findings compared to climate change’s myriad of other consequences.

Learning from the Netherlands about bikes
Almost 30% of Dutch commuters always travel by bicycle, and another 40% sometimes bike to work. Those percentages are even higher when you look at Amsterdam specifically. How did this happen, and what can we learn from it?

Let’s stop hiding behind recycling and be honest about consumption
George Monbiot talks about the problem of escalating consumption, and how it’s masked by the way we measure it. Also reminds me of the research which suggests knowing something will be recycled could lead us to using more of it.