Role Play: Six Americas, Six Views on Global Warming

An important part of stopping climate change is being able to communicate with people who may have different opinions about it. This is an exercise to help students practice engaging with people of varying perspectives.


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).

Goals and Standards:

  1. Articulate differences in public perceptions of climate change through the Six Americas framework.
  2. Apply knowledge of differences in public perceptions of climate change to developing effective science communications.
  3. Use evidence to support claims when constructing an argument.
Common Core ELA Standards: RH.11-12.7, WHST.6-8.1, WHST.9-10.1, WHST.11-12.1,
Common Core Math Standards: MP.2,
NGSS Performance Expectations: MS-ESS3-5, MS-LS2-4, MS-LS2-5, HS-ETS1-2, HS-ETS1-3, HS-LS2-7,