Decoding the Data

This activity is inspired by the New York Times What’s Going On in This Graph? feature and offers students the chance to practice their data interpretation skills.


Through national survey data, YPCCC has identified Global Warming’s Six Americas: six unique audiences within the American public that each responds to the issue of climate change in their own distinct way. 

The Alarmed are fully convinced of the reality and seriousness of climate change and are already taking individual, consumer, or political action to address it. The Concerned are also convinced that global warming is happening and is a serious problem, but have not yet engaged the issue personally.

Three other Americas – the Cautious, the Disengaged, and the Doubtful – represent different stages of understanding and acceptance of the problem, and none are actively involved. The final America – the Dismissive are very sure it is not happening and oppose efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

In addition to identifying the Six Americas, YPCCC has created a 4-question multiple choice survey that will tell you which of the Six Americas you are in. This survey is called the Six Americas Super Short SurveY (SASSY).

This activity asks students to engage with and analyze YPCCC graphs based on SASSY data. For more on this activity, please see the Educator Page.

Goals and Standards:

  1. Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence for phenomena.
  2. Draw conclusions about public perceptions of climate change based on data.
Common Core ELA Standards: RI.6.7, RI.8.7,
Common Core Math Standards: HSS.IC.B.6, MP.2,