In April 2020, VICE Media Group surveyed over 9,000 adults 18+ in five countries: The United States of America, The United Kingdom, Denmark, Spain and India. We chose those markets were due to their geographical differences, cultural differences, and a perceived notion of being either ahead or behind the curve in terms of climate understanding. This is what we learned.
People around the world agree that climate change is a problem: Eight in ten say they are concerned about the effects of human activity on the planet. It’s hard not to be concerned when we see significant environmental changes all around us. In just the past few months in the U.S. alone, over two million acres of California has been burned by wildfires, breaking a record; Death Valley recorded a temperature of 130 degrees, possibly the hottest on record in world history; and the North Atlantic has had such an active hurricane season that we’ve run out of human names for the storms.
But maybe not caring is the result of not truly understanding the problem. Fifty percent of people indicate that lack of knowledge or information is one of the biggest challenges they face in trying to be more environmentally friendly. And when we dig into climate literacy, it is clear there is a knowledge gap.