While Americans support action on climate change, many don’t see the issue as an immediate threat and so the issue does not elicit the powerful responses necessary for Americans to mobilize, argues sociologist Doug McAdam.
Despite widespread belief that climate change is a problem, an effective, sustained grassroots movement to influence climate change policy has not developed in the United States. Why?
McAdam, a Stanford University sociology professor, tackles this question in a new article, which appears in the Annual Review of Political Science. He discussed the issue with Milenko Martinovich of Stanford:
Q: What are the major factors behind a relative lack of grassroots activism regarding climate change in the United States?
Q: What do you mean when you say that no particular population segment “owns” the issue of climate change?
Q: There are more than 400 formal climate change organizations in the US. Have they made a measurable impact and how are they different from grassroots organizations?
Q: Could the US pulling out of the Paris climate agreement be the event that mobilizes a grassroots movement?
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