Participants gathered on a rainy night at the Museum of Science in Boston this past Thursday, November 12, to get a taste of the World Wide Views experience and discuss some of the results that make the US unique compared with the rest of the world. Over the course of a two-hour event, attendees learned about the day of deliberation that took place on June 6, heard from a participant in the deliberation, tried out one of the sessions, and discussed the US results.
To get a taste of the WWViews experience, attendees went through the first session from June 6, including watching the video of background information, discussing in groups, and voting on the six questions for the first session.
Unsurprisingly, the group who chose to attend this event agreed that climate change is very concerning, as shown in the voting results below.
Other than that, their results were very well aligned with the US as a whole. They were slightly more likely than the original US participants to say that adaptation and mitigation should be focused on equally (90% vs. 68%), rather than primarily mitigation. They were also slightly more likely to say the world should do whatever it takes to limit warming to 2 degrees Celsius.
During the discussion comparing the US results to the rest of the world’s results, participants shared insights about what they thought might make the US unique. For the question about the balance between adaptation and mitigation, the US was more likely to recommend focusing on both, rather than primarily adaptation. Attendees suggested that this might come from a “can-do attitude” in the US, as well as our greater access to resources and technologies that might help with mitigation efforts, whereas other countries might only be able to adapt.
Regarding the question of urgency in tackling the issue of climate change, one participant said, “I was very surprised to see in general how well aligned the US results were with the worldwide view. It was encouraging to see so much of the world would do whatever it takes.”
Another interesting conversation came up around responsibility for tackling climate change. The US ranked the options in the same order as the rest of the world but put less emphasis on an international agreement and citizens and civil society, balanced out by a greater emphasis on businesses and the private sector and local authorities. Participants suggested that this may be due to the US belief in market forces and management of issues at the local level.
The event was very enjoyable and productive thanks to an eager and thoughtful group of participants. And luckily, when they went home, the rain had stopped.