What is Pluralistic Ignorance and why we need recognize it as a problem? More Civic Engagement can help and Civics Activism Expert George Polisner tells us why.

The world is facing a climate crisis, and we still are not paying enough attention, especially here in America. It is hard to understand why a large share of the populace in the US doesn’t seem to believe that climate change is a serious problem. A study published by nature.com  dated August 23, 2022, entitled: Americans Experience a False Social Reality by Underestimating Popular Climate Policy Support by Nearly Half, states that a collective action problem like climate change requires individuals to recognize the problem as a threat, and should engage in coordinated actions that result in raising environmental consciousness and social change.  Pluralistic ignorance is a shared misperception of how others think or behave, and poses a challenge to collective action, especially with a problem like climate change, which requires individuals to engage in coordinated actions that result in the development of solutions, behavioral adaptation and resilience. Collective action problems pose a difficult challenge as individuals are less likely to act when others standby and do nothing—and this outcome is only more common when the problem at hand is not clearly perceived to be a threat. Pluralistic ignorance is described as a false social reality: a near universal perception of public opinion that is the opposite of true public sentiment. Supporters of climate policies outnumber opponents two to one, while Americans falsely perceive nearly the opposite to be true. Further, Americans in every state and every assessed demographic underestimate support across all polices tested.  We need to shed light on this conundrum and my monthly civics and political analyst, George Polisner helps me delve into this and other topics that affect how we act, how we vote, and what is needed to push the needle to create positive change. George is the founder of Civ.works, who works to bring civic engagement, activism, citizen participation and political communication to the forefront. For more information go to Civ.Works

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