As the U.S. battles wildfires, forcing thousands to flee, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) put the chances of an above average hurricane season at 60 percent, and July 2021 was confirmed as the hottest ever recorded, it’s clear climate change now is widespread, rapid and intensifying.
In an effort to help broaden understanding of public attitudes about climate change, Seiko Epson conducted a survey of more than 15,000 people from across the world, including respondents from the U.S.
Despite evidence of the climate emergency — including the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s conclusion that some aspects of climate change will take millennia to reverse – the Seiko Epson “Climate Reality Barometer” found that close to half of U.S. respondents still believe we will solve the climate crisis in their lifetime. And alarmingly, more than one in 10 Americans don’t believe in the climate emergency at all.
Seiko Epson’s Barometer suggests that this optimism stems from people’s inability to recognize climate change when they see it. For example, just over six in 10 of U.S survey respondents associate wildfires with climate change.
Who Is Responsible?
When trying to determine responsibility for slowing climate change, in the U.S., one quarter of respondents pointed at government and an additional 25 percent looked to business to make changes. This mindset reflects some lack of personal responsibility. However, encouragingly, around one third of respondents from the U.S. see responsibility as collective – which is higher than the 28 percent global average.
Seiko Epson also asked global participants what actions they were willing to take to play their part in tackling climate change (things they already, or in the future, plan to do). While an impressive two thirds will change to an electric vehicle, fewer than one in six have actually switched. While over half accept a move to a plant-based diet, just a quarter have so far. Even moving away from unsustainable brands sees high intent (68 percent) but disappointing delivery (29 percent).
With the “Climate Reality Barometer,” Seiko Epson is working to raise awareness of the compelling challenges that those who are committed to this cause are facing, while also providing real actions that can be taken right now:
- Educate – Promote and demonstrate environmental responsibility. At Epson, this means a move to renewable energies, closing resource loops through equipment refurbishment and reuse, and the formation of partnerships that make a meaningful difference, such as our work with National Geographic to stop damaging permafrost thaw.
- Empower – Give others the tools and technologies. At Epson, this means initiatives to reduce customer impact, development of highly energy efficient Heat-Free printing technology, and R&D into environmental innovations such as naturally derived (non-plastic) materials.
Now is the time to do what we do best – stepping up at the right time with the right solutions to bring about the right outcomes.