Many Americans still don’t believe in anthropogenic climate change – even though the vast majority of scientists do. Numerous scientific publications have shown human activities to be the cause of rising temperatures and changing weather patterns, yet only 54 percent of Americans believe global warming is caused by people. There is an obvious need for more climate change education campaigns and funders are rising to the challenge. The Sea Change Foundation (see Sea Change Foundation: Grants for Climate Change) has particularly focused its giving on educating the public about climate change and clean energy.
A well informed public is better able to respond to a changing environment and to vote for the policies that will fend off disasters. Acknowledging the public as constituents with voting power, organizations such as the Center for American Progress and the League of Conservation Voters are educating the public so that they can better affect energy policies.
In 2011, the Sea Change Foundation distributed over 35 grants for educating the public about the climate and clean energy. The Center for American Progress, received three grants totaling $2.25 million to conduct its education campaigns. This “independent nonpartisan educational institute” hopes to develop new policy ideas and shape the national debate by sharing their point of view with everyone including students, the media, folks in the boardroom, and local communities. Meanwhile, Sea Change also gave the League of Conservation Voters (LCV) over $6.8 million in 2011 for climate and energy education campaigns. The LCV advocates for sound environmental policies and works to get pro-environment candidates elected. Their education campaigns tend to focus on important environmental legislation and the environmental views of political candidates.
The Sea Change Foundation has also funded education work by the World Wildlife Fund, the Energy Foundation, the World Resources Institute, and others. Public education and political campaigns look to be an important part of the Sea Change portfolio, and this will likely remain true going forward. Although the foundation does have a few favorite grantees, they do not appear unwilling to consider other organizations as well. Hopefully these education campaigns will mobilize the American public into action, to help counteract the effects of global climate change. (Read Sea Change executive director, Stephen Colwell's IP profile).