Encouraging results to climate change survey

To the editor:

To include more of us in the conversation about climate change our citizen-group Living the Change, conducted two "snapshot surveys" during Third Thursday events in July and August in Pittsfield. Climate change is a topic many of us find overwhelming and at the same time elusive. It can make us feel helpless, guilty or angry.

We asked "How concerned are you about climate change?" in July, and "What do you think might be the best way to fight climate change" in August.

People responded to the first question by placing a sticky dot on columns from 1 (not concerned at all) to 5 (very concerned). Of a total of 352 responses, 238 fell into this last column, very concerned, with column 4 (quite concerned) following with 69 responses. Thirteen people said they were not at all concerned, with the remainder falling into columns 2 and 3.

In August, the answers to choose from were: Alternative energy (107 votes), insulating homes (22 votes); electric cars/alternative transportation (45 votes); Taxing carbon (22 votes); planting trees and agriculture (52 votes).

We also had a column in which people could write their own ideas for addressing climate change. Here, by far, the most common response was "population control."


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More than this informative data, the survey gave us an opportunity to speak with a wide variety of people, from a young man working with reforestation in Haiti, to a woman unaware of the flooding in Louisiana and the wildfires in California, to another man certain that climate change is not human-caused but still favors energy conservation and clean energy, to someone supporting second-generation nuclear energy.

The event left us hopeful that a vast majority of us is in support of measures to protect our planet and all of its life forms from the worst of climate change.

Uli Nagel, Lee