Depolarizing Climate Change in the United States


Matthew G. Burgess

Date of Event



Addressing climate change requires a society-wide effort sustained over decades. This simply will not happen without bipartisan cooperation and broad public support. Fortunately, there are signs of hope. There have been recent bipartisan climate policies passed at the state and federal levels, and polls increasingly suggest broad and bipartisan support for addressing climate change, especially among younger voters. What does a bipartisan approach to addressing climate change look like? Drawing on analyses of opinion polls, survey experiments, and legislative action from my research group and others, I will argue that strategies for building a big-tent climate movement include: carrots over sticks, optimism over pessimism, national pride over national shame, precise and plain-spoken discourse over hyperbole and histrionics, and kitchen-table-focused approaches to environmental justice rather than identitarian ones.

Speaker Bio

Matthew G. Burgess is an Assistant Professor in Environmental Studies, with a courtesy appointment in Economics. Matt received his Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota, 2014, and his B.Sc. University of Toronto, 2009

His research focuses on economic growth futures and their impacts on the environment and society, mathematical modeling of human-environment systems, and political polarization of environmental issues. Matt uses a combination of mathematical and computer modeling, data synthesis, and collaboration with stakeholders, in order to make conceptual advances and link them to practice.

Subject Headings

climate change; climate change--United States


CWRU School of Law Moot Courtroom

Document Type