The Alarmed (18%) are fully convinced of the reality and seriousness of climate change and are already taking individual, consumer, and political action to address it. The Concerned (33%) – the largest of the six Americas – are also convinced that global warming is happening and a serious problem, but have not yet engaged the issue personally. Three other Americas – the Cautious (19%), the Disengaged (12%) and the Doubtful (11%) – represent different stages of understanding and acceptanceof the problem, and none are actively involved. The final America – the Dismissive (7%)– are very sure it is not happening and are actively involved as opponents of a national effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
This report introduces these Six Americas by briefly describing each audience and highlighting how they differ from one another; it concludes with detailed demographic, attitudinal, and behavioral profiles of each group. This research provides essential knowledge that can be leveraged by climate educators and communicators throughout American society, including local, state, and national governments, academic institutions, environmental organizations, businesses, faith groups, doctors and scientists, and the media. Successfully addressing this challenge will require a diversity of messages, messengers, and methods, each tailored to meet the needs of different target audiences. This research provides a solid foundation, grounded in social science, to facilitate the changes required to achieve a transition to a low-carbon future.