For anyone in the U.S. who has been following climate change news for years, it could be easy to conclude that these protests don’t have an impact. After all, no major environmental legislation has been signed into law in this country in decades.
Further, in 2016 a near-majority of U.S. voters elected a president who rejects the scientific evidence on climate change.
On the other hand, concern about climate change is rising. So is media coverage about global warming, notably including CNN’s seven-hour town hall on the topic with 10 Democratic presidential candidates.
To see whether rallies, such as the Global Climate Strike are contributing to this change in public opinion in a measurable way, Grand Challenge sponsored faculty Nathan Geiger partnered with Pennsylvania State University psychologist Janet K. Swim and Michael L. Lengieza, a graduate student. They collected public opinion data before and after major protests.