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Most Americans Want Scientists, Not Politicians, to Lead Climate Debate

The latest results from an ongoing Yale/George Mason study indicate that Americans want experts to explain how human activities are altering the climate

By Elizabeth McGowan, SolveClimate News

Jul 5, 2011
The melting Grinnell Glacier in Glacier National Park

"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."

Not Either/Or

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."

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