"This is an issue that is so big and so fundamental," he continues. "It's about the energy systems that are our lifeblood. The stereotype is that this only matters to the long-haired hippies wearing Birkenstocks. But everybody has a stake."
Advocates for climate change action often fall into two camps, Leiserowitz says. One side argues that national and international policies are the only solutions, while another contingent rallies for on-the-ground action.
With such an all-encompassing topic, he says, such an either/or proposition is unrealistic. Instead, both top-down and bottom-up approaches are necessary, and it's imperative to plug away from both directions.
"That's the genius of democracy," Leiserowitz says. "It allows this laboratory of innovation and experimentation to take place."