Human Dimensions of Global Warming

Lesson 10: Public Opinion on Climate Change


Too often, the climate crisis is framed as a political debate rather than a scientific consensus.  This can be problematic for creating the innovative solutions the situation necessitates.  However, the story is not so simple and while we may assume it cuts readily on party lines in the US, when we take a closer look, we find a more nuanced situation.  This week's lesson is an exploration of the ever-evolving public opinion of climate change, with particular focus here in the US.  We're digging into this because it is fundamentally one of the most complicated human dimensions of climate change and also perhaps one of the most potentially powerful to get us out of the mess.  Finally, understanding how our family, friends, and neighbors think about this issue helps us have more productive conversations toward common goals.  

What will we learn?

By the end of this lesson, you should be able to:

  • appreciate the underlying drivers of people's personal perceptions of the climate crisis
  • discuss the Six Americas as described by the Yale Program on Climate Communication
  • create strategies for engaging in productive conversations about climate change in a variety of community settings (home, work, social organizations, etc.)

    What is due for Lesson 10?

    Lesson 10 will take us one week to complete. Please refer to the Calendar in Canvas for specific time frames and due dates. Specific directions for the assignments below can be found within this lesson.

    Complete the following steps to complete Lesson 10:

    • Work through the lesson content on this website.
    • Read the required reading assignments (found in Canvas).
    • Complete the lesson 10 content quiz.
    • Write and Share your Write to Learn response.


    If you have questions, please feel free to post them to the Ask a Question about the Lesson forum. While you are there, feel free to post your own responses if you, too, are able to help a classmate.