Climate Change Funding:
A New Approach to Climate Change
Seventy-two percent of global greenhouse gas emissions come from household or “lifestyle” consumption, including mobility, diet, and housing, as opposed to government or capital and infrastructure investment. Strategies for affecting climate-relevant behavior have shown encouraging levels of behavioral plasticity for reducing emissions.
When you think of Climate Change or Greenhouse Gas Emissions, the picture that comes to mind either has to do with fossil fuel companies and/or large smoke stacks polluting the air. Yet, billions of dollars have been spent on research and development of technologies such as Solar Panels, Wind Turbines and Electric Cars with limited success at reducing GHG emission.
Behavioral Science can be used to evolve Climate Change initiatives from focusing only on a top-down approach (like technology research) to the development of the necessary systems-thinking, shared vision, shared ownership and shared responsibility (the act of influencing behavior through community intervention). Research that could contribute to the reduction of GHG emissions of individuals, households, organizations and communities.
More Funding for Behavioral Science Research on Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Based on an appalling lack of funding, Values to Action is advocating for increased federal funding specifically for behavioral science research that could reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We have documented that virtually no experimental evaluations have been done of comprehensive community interventions to reduce emissions.
The National Science Foundation, the Environmental Protection Agency, and Department of Energy are not funding research to experimentally evaluate strategies for reducing emissions of individuals, households, or organizations. We need to get relevant information into the hands of the policy makers that control funding for the NSF, DOE, and EPA as Congress is in the process of determining the funding of these agencies. For more information on these efforts, please see the following documents:
If you believe there should be greater funding for behavioral science research to affect greenhouse gas emissions, please contact the Senators and Congresspeople who control funding for the NSF, DOE, and EPA, especially if they are in a state where you are a constituent.
How to Make Your Voice Heard:
Below is a list of the states that have Senators or Congresspeople on relevant committees with links to their Chief of Staff and Legislative Director's email addresses. Please reach out to as many of them you feel comfortable reaching out to with the message to increase funding for behavioral science research that could reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We need your help to open the lines of communication with your congresspeople, and will help you at every step of the process.
We have drafted this suggested message, which you can copy and paste into the email and modify your message as you see fit. If you modify the message, please remember to keep your message short and concise.
If you live in a state that is on this list, make sure to let them know that.
If you are a behavioral scientist, be sure to mention that as well.
Make sure to replace the brackets [ ] with the appropriate information.
Copy Tony@biglan.org on the email.
Subject line: Please support more funding of behavioral science to reduce GHG [in state name]
Dear [Senator/Representative name],
I hope this email finds you well. [I am one of your constituents.]
In the midst of climate change in this state, I recently learned about the appalling lack of federal funding for behavioral science research on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
A policy brief and a recent publication in The Hill detail what is needed.
Thank you for your service to [state name],
Make sure the links stay in the message or documents are attached.
Make sure you've replaced everything in the brackets.
If you are in the state, make that clear.
Mention that you are a behavioral researcher or professional, if applicable.
Response Next Steps:
When you receive a response from one of the Legislators, please let us know if there is anything we can do to help facilitate or be included in your conversation with them. We would be happy to help with setting up a meeting and/or helping craft a response. Please reach out to us at Tony@biglan.org for additional support.
You can also call your Congresspeople:
You can reach your states Senators and Congresspeople through the Call4Climate Dialer. All you do is dial (202)-318-1885 and punch in your zip code. Then, it patches you through to your senators’ office lines, so you can bring them the message yourself. For more information on Call4Climate, please visit their website.
If your state is not listed below, they do not have any Congresspeople sitting on any of the relevant committees.
People have come to this page to advocate for more behavioral science research. Help us get more voices by sending this link to your family and friends.
Comment below to let us know your thoughts, how many emails you sent and which state(s) they were sent to, as well as any response you receive!