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Found 135 Resources

Americans Oppose EPA & Environmental Budget Cuts New!

Only 22 percent of respondents believe the federal government spends too much on protecting the environment. Nearly two-thirds of Americans oppose cutting funding for the Environmental Protection Agency; programs that reduce pollution in low-income and minority communities; and the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, providers of forecasts and early warnings about dangerous weather and natural disasters. The strongest support for these safeguards and programs—and opposition to cutbacks—is from Democrats and Independents. But a sizable number of Republicans, more than one-third in most cases, also oppose them. 

NRDC and American Viewpoint | 08/10/17

Poll: Support for Paris, Even in Trump Counties

By a 16-point margin, Americans in "Trump counties" (ones where President Obama won in 2012 but Trump won in 2016 or where Trump performed at least 20 points higher in 2016 than Romney did in 2012) oppose him "pulling the United States out of the Paris climate change accords with other nations" (48% oppose vs. 32% support). Opposition is much more intense than support, with 37% strongly opposing Trump's decision compared with 20% strongly supporting it. 

NBC News/Wall Street Journal | 07/19/17

Can We Sustain It?

What can we learn from companies about how they win the "battle for our attention" to transform civic engagement from a hobby to a habit? Smart communications can help channel interest or outrage into civic action, that becomes a way of life for new and more experienced activists. A few recommendations: Make it timely, personal, and high-stakes. Inoculate against misinformation and spend time finding common ground. Expand perspectives through experiences. Give people tangible actions to take. Avoid blaming losses on external factors beyond people’s control. Encourage people to form alliances that create and grow power.

Kristen Grimm and Emily Gardner, Spitfire Strategies | 07/11/17

Stop scaring people about climate change. It doesn't work.

Focusing on worst-case climate change impact scenarios can do more harm than good when engaging people around climate, as our brains can in effect shut down if we determine a threat is insurmountable. That's the main message of this brief review of applicable psychology research, written in response to a New York Magazine piece outlining climate change's worst possible impacts.

Eric Holthaus, Grist | 07/10/17

Poll: Climate Change in the American Mind: May 2017

Over half (58%) of Americans understand that climate change is mostly human-caused, the highest level since this ongoing survey began in 2008. Other key findings include that 67% "rarely" or "never" discuss climate change with their friends and family, just 13% understand that nearly all climate scientists are convinced human-caused climate change is happening, and providing a better life for our children and grandchildren is the most popular reason (24%) why Americans want to address climate change. See coverage in Vox.

Leiserowitz, A., Maibach, E., Roser-Renouf, C., Rosenthal, S., & Cutler, M. Yale University and George Mason University | 07/05/17

Climate Convenings Toolkit

The Climate Convening Toolkit shares the essential elements for effective public conversations on climate change, as well as the practical tools for planning and implementing a convening in your community. For a free download of this resource, follow the link.

Climate Generation. | 06/23/17

Poll: Few Americans support U.S. withdrawal from Paris Agreement

Fewer than one third of Americans support Pres. Trump's move to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate accord, and 52 percent think withdrawing from the agreement will hurt the U.S. economy in the long run (compared to just 18 percent who say it will help the economy). In this poll conducted one week after Pres. Trump made his announcement, 51 percent of Republicans said they support the U.S. withdrawing from the agreement, while 69 percent of Democrats oppose it.

Associated Press--NORC Center for Public Affairs Research | 06/11/17

Poll: Most Americans want 'aggressive' action on climate change

Sixty-eight percent of Americans want the United States to lead global efforts to slow climate change, and 72 percent agree "that given the amount of greenhouse gases that it produces, the United States should take aggressive action to slow global warming." A majority (64%) also believe US relations with other countries will suffer as a result of Trump's pullout from the Paris Agreement. And, despite what Trump believes, a majority of Americans across all political parties think clean energy will create new jobs and growth.

Reuters/Ipsos | 06/05/17

Psychology & Global Climate Change: addressing a multifaceted phenomenon and set of challenges

Although 47% of U.S. adults consider climate change to be a “very serious” problem (and 28% consider it a “somewhat serious” problem), they still see it as a long-term one, and have trouble connecting it with current events, such as shifts in seasonal weather patterns and sea level rise.  A recent paper from the American Psychological Association posits this reaction is a result of the interaction between two of our cognitive systems, analytic reasoning and associative risks. While the anlaytic reasoning system understands climate change is a serious problem, our associative system fails to send the proper warning signals in the brain to those who do not (or cannot) experience the dangers of our changing planet. Further, there are two process that protect us from information we do not want to believe or do not want to have to act on: denial (saying climate change isn't real, and therefore they don't want to think or hear about it) and rationalization, where we come up with reasons for justifying inaction or supporting the idea that the threatening information won’t be so bad. Additional coverage in Paste Magazine

American Psychological Association | 05/31/17

The heart trumps the head: Desirability bias in political belief revision

U.S. voters seek out information to confirm their political desires -- not just their beliefs -- according to a recent study during the 2016 election where people asked which candidate they wanted to win the election, and also which candidate they believed was most likely to win. Each participant then read about recent polling results emphasizing either that Mrs. Clinton or Mr. Trump was more likely to win. Those people who received desirable evidence — polls suggesting that their preferred candidate was going to win — took note and incorporated the information into their subsequent belief about which candidate was most likely to win the election. In contrast, those people who received undesirable evidence barely changed their belief about which candidate was most likely to win. Importantly, this bias in favor of the desirable evidence emerged irrespective of whether the polls confirmed or disconfirmed peoples’ prior belief about which candidate would win. Additional coverage in the New York Times.

Ben Tappin and Ryan McKay, University of London; Leslie van der Leer, Regent’s University London. Journal of Experimental Psychology | 05/31/17

Poll: A Majority Of Americans Wants Trump To Stay In The Paris Agreement

61% percent of Americans said the country should stay in the Paris agreement, while just 17 % supported withdrawing and 21% unsure. 59% said the climate is changing as a result of humans’ burning fossil fuels, industrial farming, and deforestation, compared to 21% who said climate change is not linked to human activity, and 6% who argued the climate hasn’t changed at all. 51% said the U.S. is not taking a leadership role in addressing climate change, and 58% said it should. 20% said the U.S. is leading the charge, and 22% said it ought to take a backseat role. Another 29% weren’t sure where the country stood, and 20% remained undecided on what kind of role the U.S. should play.

HuffPost/YouGov | 05/18/17

A scientist who studies protest says 'the resistance' isn't slowing down

People turning out to recent marches in Washington, DC on climate and other issues are 1) overwhelmingly people who voted for Hillary Clinton, 2) well-educated, 3) 25-30% first-time protesters, 4) broadly motivated in response to the Trump administration, but 5) increasingly diverse in their specific reasons for marching (racial justice, the environment, women's rights, etc.), and 6) continuing to show up to multiple marches. Those are the initial conclusions from sociologist Dana Fisher, who has been surveying march attendees at DC marches since the November election.

Sarah Kaplan, Washington Post | 05/03/17

What Americans Really Think About Climate Change

Most Americans believe in and are worried about climate change, but not enough to overcome the political polarization that surrounds climate change in American society. That's the core conclusion of this piece which draws on public opinion information from a number of recent polls. 

Robinson Meyer, The Atlantic | 04/22/17

69% of American voters support the Paris Agreement

This nationally representative survey conducted after the election found that seven in ten registered voters (69%) say the U.S. should participate in the COP21 agreement, compared with only 13% who say the U.S. should not. Majorities of Democrats (86%) and Independents (61%), and half of Republicans (51%) say the U.S. should participate (including 73% of moderate/liberal Republicans). Only conservative Republicans are split, with marginally more saying the U.S. should participate (40%) than saying we should not participate (34%). 

Almost half of Trump voters (47%) say the U.S. should participate in the Paris agreement, compared with only 28% who say the U.S. should not. 

Leiserowitz, A., Maibach, E., Roser-Renouf, C., Rosenthal, S., & Cutler, M. Yale University and George Mason University. Yale Program on Climate Change Communication | 04/17/17

Poll: Two-Thirds of Americans Take Climate Personally

66% of American voters are "very concerned" or "somewhat concerned" that climate change will affect them or a family member personally, and 62% of voters say that Pres. Trump should not remove policies aimed at combating climate change, according to this national poll fielded March 30-April 3, 2017. 92% of voters say it is "very important" or "somewhat important" for the United States to be energy independent, and 65% say that climate change is caused by human activity. See coverage in Time.  

Quinnipiac University | 04/05/17

Poll: Voters in Both Parties Fret About Climate Change

Two-thirds of registered voters said they are "very" or "somewhat" concerned about “climate change and the impact it’s having on the U.S. environment.” Only 26% of respondents said they were “not too concerned” or “not concerned at all.” Half of Republican respondents were concerned about climate change, while 44% were not. There was an even split among those who voted for Trump in last year’s general election, with 47% worried and the same number not. 

38% of respondents said they believe Trump’s executive order (calling for a review of the Clean Power Plan and ending an Obama administration moratorium on new coal mining leases on federal land) would help the economy, while 28% said it would hurt the economy, and 20% said it would not make much difference. The rate is similar for independents, but nearly double the number of Republicans (62% believe the order would help the economy. 54% of respondents believe the order would hurt the environment, more than quadruple the number who said it would help the environment. (Another 22% said it wouldn’t matter either way.) But among Republicans, less than a third (31%) believe it would hurt the environment and about a fifth think Trump’s order to reduce rules on emissions would actually help the environment.

Morning Consult | 04/01/17

By the numbers, Trump’s big environmental regulation rollback is all kinds of unpopular

Across many different environmental issues, there is broad public support among Americans for the environmental safeguards that the Trump administration is rolling back, as outlined in this thorough summary of recent polling and survey data. 

Emily Guskin, Washington Post | 03/29/17

Poll: Americans Disagree With White House’s Hard-Line Stances On Climate Change

55% of Americans support remaining in the Paris Agreement; 49% say the EPA should fund climate research (vs. 28% declaring the opposite and 23% who are unsure); 57% say the EPA should continue to fund the Energy Star program (vs 19% who support defunding and 23% who are unsure). Opinions were more mixed on how much regulation is necessary, with 28% arguing the current level of regulation is too low; 26% saying the level is about right, and 23% agreeing with the president’s view that it is too high. Additional coverage in the Huffington Post.

Huffpost and YouGov | 03/29/17

Poll: Floridians see climate change as the norm

The majority of Floridians think that human-caused climate change is happening. And most of them—around three out of four—are concerned, according to a recent nonpartisan poll conducted by the Saint Leo University. When asked “How concerned are you about global climate change,” 75.5% of Floridians responded in the affirmative—that they were either somewhat or very concerned, on par with the nationwide average of 75.1%. Among Florida residents, 77.1% believe human activity fuels climate change, and 13.2% blame nature, and less than 10% believe climate change isn't real. 

St. Leo University | 03/24/17

Poll: Americans want to protect environment and clean energy

A new poll shows rising public concern about global warming and an increase in public agreement with scientists on why it's happening. According to Gallup, "68% of Americans — the highest Gallup has recorded — believe increases in Earth's temperatures over the last century are mainly due to the effects of pollution from human activities." Currently, 45% percent worry a "great deal" about global warming, a 13-point jump since 2015.

 

Gallup | 03/15/17

Poll: Moving the needle on American support for a carbon tax

Support among Americans for a carbon tax hit a new high (50%) just before the November 2016 election, and that level of support increased when survey respondents were told the carbon tax revenue would be used for either an income tax rebate (62%) or research and development for renewable energy programs (66%). Support decreased to 42% when respondents were told the revenue would be used for deficit reduction. Also, roughly half of the respondents who said they support each carbon tax option said they "strongly support" it, according to the survey from the National Surveys on Energy and Environment.

Daniel Puskin, American University and Sarah Mills, University of Michigan. Center for Local, State, and Urban Policy | 03/01/17

Does Engagement in Advocacy Hurt the Credibility of Scientists? Results from a Randomized National Survey Experiment

A new study suggests scientists' perceived credibility does not decrease with higher levels of public advocacy on a range of issues, contradicting the assumption that scientists will be less respected if they speak out on policy matters. Credibility suffered only when advocating for the specific policy of building more nuclear power plants to address climate change, suggesting that what scientists advocate for matters -- not that they should rule out advocacy altogether. More coverage in the Washington Post.  

J. E. Kotcher, T. A. Myers, E. K. Vraga, N. Stenhouse & E. W. Maibach. Environmental Communication | 02/26/17

Public engagement with climate change post-Brexit: a centre-right perspective

An analysis of center-right attitudes toward climate and energy issues in the U.K. following the Brexit vote revealed a number of key insights including that:

(1) Participants were very distrusting of elites, large institutions and corporations so it is more effective to amplify trusted local, non-elite voices and emphasise the ‘will of the people’ where there is majority support for a policy or issue.

(2) Special places and landscapes are valued, but human relationships matter more, so use messaging which speaks to that shared sense of pride in who we are as a people, and which reflects that belief and optimism.

(3) Protecting the purity of the family and our environment was a prominent theme -- and technology was as much a threat to this purity as pollution. Therefore, be careful in the promotion of new technologies as part of the solution.

(4) Climate change was not tangible or ‘front of mind’ for participants, so it is important to anchor campaign messages by foregrounding recognised, tangible, localised issues, such as reducing air pollution.

(5) A consistent theme in conversations with the centre-right is a desire for balance. Refer to changes in the weather can be referred to as the climate being ‘out of balance’ and also stress balance as a desirable personal value (e.g. people should not just take but also give something back to society and the economy.)

(6)  It is important to be honest and open about the benefits and challenges of making the shift to renewables. Ensure messages are moderate and balanced in the claims made for renewable energy. Big claims about the transformation of energy systems may backfire.

Christopher Shaw and Adam Corner, Climate Outreach | 02/16/17

Renewable energy draws increasing Republican support. That could shift climate politics.

This piece argues that Republican support for clean energy policies could shift the climate discussion in the coming years, as more and more conservative communities in the Midwest see themselves as the clean energy heroes in the climate debate, rather than the villains. 

David Roberts, Vox | 02/16/17

Snapchat for Advocacy

Snapchat has 200 million users, half of whom are daily active users, and is also the fastest growing social media platform, reaching about 41% of all 18-34-year-olds.

Step-by-step recommendations for how organizations can leverage Snapchat as a platform for engaging their members in advocacy campaigns: 1. Send supporters the Snapchat info for your target. (The Public Affairs Council keeps a list of Congressional Snapchat accounts.) 2. Give them ideas about what to put in their snapchat (e.g. a personal story, a photo of a sign they made for last weekend’s protest, a photo from right outside a district office) 3. Tell them to send it right to Congress! 4. If your organization does have an account, have supporters snap the photo to your acount too, to help keep track of contacts. 5. Since the platform is inherently less formal than any other social media platform, so be sure to lighten the tone in your messaging.

Aneta Molenda, M+R Strategies | 02/09/17

Talking Climate: The Science of Climate Change Communication

Social scientists have identified 5 main barriers to understanding climate change: distance, doom, dissonance, denial, and identity. To overcome distance: bring climate impacts close to home, connect issues that matter to your audience, and invoke "legacy." To overcome doom: emphasize solutions and benefits and beware of the overuse of emotional appeals. To overcome dissonance: channel the power of social norms and appeal to group identity. To overcome denial: understand different sources of doubt, don’t repeat the myth, and don’t overload with facts. To overcome identity factors: appeal to identity-based values and social norms. Watch the full webinar here

Jeremy Deaton, Climate Nexus | 02/09/17

Poll: Widening partisan gap over dealing with climate change

A majority of Americans (55%) now cite protecting the environment as a top priority, up from 47% in 2016. 

The widest partisan gap on any policy issue is on the importance of dealing with global climate change. 62% of Democrats say this should be a top priority for the president and Congress, vs. just 15% of Republicans – making climate change by far the lowest-ranked of 21 policy priorities among Republicans. Republicans have ranked global climate change – or global warming in surveys prior to 2015 – at or close to the bottom of the list of policy priorities for more than a decade. At the same time, the share of Democrats who rate climate change as a top priority has steadily increased in recent years – from 46% in 2015 to 62% currently. 

There also is a sizable partisan gap over the importance of environmental protection as a policy priority. While 72% of Democrats say protecting the environment should be a top priority for Congress and the president, just 35% of Republicans say this.

Pew Research Center | 01/25/17

Two-thirds of Americans give priority to developing alternative energy over fossil fuels

According to a recent nationwide poll this month, 65% of Americans prioritize developing alternative energy sources like wind and solar (up from 60% in December 2014), compared with 27% who prefer expanded production of fossil fuel sources. The survey also shows that Democrats are far more likely to prioritize developing alternative energy over fossil fuels, compared with Republicans. While 81% of Democrats and Independents who lean Democratic favor developing alternative sources over fossil fuels, Republicans and Independents who lean Republican are split, with 45% favoring development of alternative sources and 44% favoring expansion of oil, coal and natural gas.

Pew Research Center | 01/23/17

Poll: Trump doesn't represent American views on climate change: a visual guide

A thorough summary of polls showing that Americans have a better understanding of climate change, its causes and its impacts than Pres. Trump, and are more supportive of taking action to address the problem as well.

John Sutter, CNN | 01/18/17

Poll: Climate Change in the American Mind: November 2016

More Americans (19%) are "very worried" about global warming than at any point in the last eight years, according to the latest survey (November 2016, post-election) in this series of national surveys. Other key findings include that a majority of Americans (61%) are "very" or "somewhat" worried about global warming, and that 76% of Americans think that schools should teach children about the causes, consequences and potential solutions to global warming.

Leiserowitz, A., Maibach, E., Roser-­‐Renouf, C., Rosenthal, S., & Cutler, M. | 01/18/17

Poll: Politics & Global Warming, November 2016

Strong majorities of Americans continue to support U.S. involvement in the Paris climate agreement (69%), setting strict limits on carbon pollution from power plants (70%), and expanding our use of renewable energy (81%), according to this post-election national survey from the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication and the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication. Half of registered voters (51%) think policies to transition away from fossil fuels to clean energy will improve the economy, while 27% think such policies will hurt the economy.  

Leiserowitz, A., Maibach, E., Roser-­‐Renouf, C., Rosenthal, S., & Cutler, M. | 12/13/16

Many Americans are skeptical about scientific research on climate and GM foods

Only 28% of Americans think climate scientists understand the causes of global climate change “very well”. Political ideology is the strongest predictor of this viewpoint: 54% of liberal Democrats say climate scientists understand very well the causes of climate change, compared with 11% of conservative Republicans. Just 27% of Americans say that almost all climate scientists agree human behavior is mostly responsible for climate change. 39% of adults trust climate scientists a lot to give full and accurate information about the causes of climate change. Yet despite their skepticism about scientists, 67% of Americans say climate scientists should have a major role in decision making about climate matters.

Brian Kennedy and Cary Funk, Pew Research Center | 12/12/16

Is There a Climate “Spiral of Silence” in America?

Advocates have opportunities to fill the remarkable silence around climate change among those already engaged in the issue.  Among the two thirds of Americans who are interested in global warming and/or rate it as important, fewer than half hear about it in the media once a month or more; only a quarter hear about it at least monthly from those they know; and more than half rarely or never discuss it with family or friends. Covered by Climate Nexus.

Edward W Maibach, Anthony A. Leiserowitz, Seth Rosenthal, Connie Roser-Renouf, & M. Cutler, Yale University and George Mason University | 09/30/16

There’s one group of Americans that consistently cares about climate change

A good summary of all the polling and surveys showing that Latinos consistently show higher concern about climate change and support for climate action. It also explores some of the likely reasons for this support, including that a) Latinos have stronger ties to people in countries feeling more direct impacts of climate change, b) Latinos are on average younger than other demographic groups (and surveys show younger Americans in general are more supportive of climate action), and c) Latinos perceive themselves as more directly threatened by the impacts of climate change.

Jeremy Deaton, Nexus Media. ThinkProgress | 09/22/16

American Metrics Survey: Climate Opinion

83% of U.S. adults think climate change is happening, with 26% responding that it is "mainly due to human activities"; 13% responding that it is "mainly due to natural causes"; and 55% responding that it is "due to a combination of both human activities and natural causes." 38% of U.S. adults are "very concerned" about climate change (including 23% of Republicans) and 38% of "somewhat concerned" (including 34% of Republicans). 67% of U.S. adults think the U.S. should be producing "much more" wind and solar energy than we are today, with 22% responding "somewhat more." 

ecoAmerica and Lake Research Partners | 09/15/16

Americans’ Views on US Fossil Fuel Policy and Clean Energy

Solid majorities of Americans would support the Obama administration permanently protecting the Arctic and Atlantic from drilling and preventing the expansion of new leases on public lands and waters. Partisan and generational divides do exist, however, with substantial majorities of independents and Democrats opposed to leasing and millennials appreciably more opposed than seniors. Americans across all parties are exceedingly positive about increasing development of renewables and would like to see this as the country’s energy priority -- 93% of Democrats, 90% or Independents, and 84% of Republicans support expanding development of renewable energy sources. Americans have a host of concerns about continued fossil fuel development, with health issues chief among them. Two in three Americans say we should keep fossil fuels in the ground to help address climate change.

Hart Research/NRDC/LCV | 09/15/16

Poll: Americans on Clean Power

3 in 4 respondents said that it is a high priority to cut air pollution from energy production that has negative public health effects, including a slight majority of Republicans and 90% of Democrats. 7 in 10 said it is a high priority to reduce greenhouse gases from energy production, including just under half of Republicans and 91% of Democrats. After a briefing and assessment of arguments pro and con, 7 in 10 approved of the US participating in the Paris Climate Agreement. Overall, 7 in 10 favor the Clean Power Plan, including 2 in 3 respondents in states whose governments are challenging the CPP before the Supreme Court--though 7 in 10 voters had initially heard "just a little or nothing at all" about the CPP. The poll was fielded nationally from April-June 2016, with oversamples and state-specific results for OK, TX, CA, FL, OH, VA, MD and NY.

Voice of the People and University of Maryland, School of Public Policy | 09/01/16

15 Steps to Create Effective Climate Communications

“Start with people, stay with people”, “Connect on common values”, “Emphasize solutions”, and “Have at least 1 powerful fact from a trusted messenger” are among the 15 steps to crafting emotionally resonant, personalized, and effective messages on climate change. 

ecoAmerica | 08/10/16

Attitudes Toward Air Pollution, Transportation and Fuel Efficiency

95% of Americans want automakers to keep improving fuel economy for cars and trucks, while 79% want the government to keep increasing fuel efficiency standards, according to a recent survey. 78% also agree that “state transportation agencies should take vehicle-related carbon pollution and climate change into account when developing transportation plans, and also seek ways to reduce that pollution”. 

NRDC and ORC International | 08/04/16

Battleground Millennial Survey

75% of millennials say they would be more likely to vote for a candidate who wants to transition the U.S. from fossil fuels to clean energy, but 44% of millennials do not see a difference between Clinton and Trump on this issue. 44% also prefer Clinton’s views on transitioning to clean energy; only 12% prefer Trump’s. 81% of millennials identified "protecting our families’ health with clean air and water" as a high priority in the 2016 election. The EPA also enjoys strong support among millennials, with a net favorability rating (+36) higher than that of LeBron James (+29) and Beyonce (+18). Press release and topline results are also available. UPDATE: Tracking poll results from late August are now available. 

 

NextGen Climate/Project New America | 07/27/16

Poll: More Hispanics concerned with global warming

80% of Hispanics consider global warming to be a "somewhat serious" or "very serious" problem, up almost 7% from a year ago, according to a survey from the Florida Atlantic University Business and Economic Polling Initiative. More than half (54%) said they considered global warming a "deciding factor" in who they would vote for to be president.

Florida Atlantic University Business and Economic Polling Initiative | 07/07/16

Poll: Strong support for fuel-efficient vehicles

A majority of Americans expect to go farther on a gallon of gas with their next vehicle purchase (53%). Even more (84%) believe automakers should continue to improve fuel economy for all vehicle types, though partisan differences emerge regarding support for the U.S. government increasing and enforcing fuel economy standards (60% support among Republicans vs. 80% among Democrats).

Consumers Union | 06/22/16

Network Changed: How progressive campaigns are won in the 21st Century

Analysis of the patterns behind high-performing progressive advocacy campaigns that demonstrated both policy/cultural impact uncovered a common set of strategic orientations and practices. Campaigns in this group tend to share power and decision-making with their supporters, and spend significant time organizing and aligning their wider networks of allies. At the same time, they’re led by active central command structures that control resource management, framing, and storytelling, while also dedicating significant attention to political moments and media narrative work.  Featured in the Stanford Social Innovation Review.

Jason Mogus and Tom Liacas, Net Change Consulting | 06/10/16

Poll: Strong Majority of Americans Support New Methane Regulations

60% of Americans polled support EPA's new regulations on methane emissions from the oil and gas industry, including 75% of Democrats, 62% of Independents and 43% of Republicans. After hearing arguments for and against the standards, the level of support holds steady (59% of those polled). More broadly, 66% of Americans favor the EPA setting stricter limits on air pollution, including 86% of Democrats, 68% of Independents and 41% of Republicans. 

Global Strategy Group, American Lung Association | 06/01/16

Poll: What Do Americans Really Think About Global Warming?

Key findings from this April 2016 national poll (displayed in an online slide show) include that 78% of Democrats--vs. 39% of Republicans--believe that scientific studies conclude that global warming is real, and 45% of respondents think the human race will adapt to climate change, while 42% believe it will threaten the human race. 

SSRS, CBS News, Vanity Fair | 05/31/16

A Just Transition: Creating the New Economy in Eastern Kentucky

When Kentucky’s leaders failed to do their job of writing a state implementation plan for the Clean Power Plan (CPP), Kentuckians for the Commonwealth (KFTC) realized that this was actually an opportunity to bring together residents from all over the state to share their vision for what Kentucky’s energy future could look like, generating shared, aspirational political will for a new economy powered by clean energy. They launched Empower Kentucky to help facilitate conversations not only about technical and policy questions folks might have, but to help answer broader ones like, “What direction would you like us to go in? What would your community need to benefit from a transition to clean energy?” Throughout April and May 2016, KFTC hosted public meetings — called “A Seat at the Table” — in each of Kentucky’s six congressional districts, where attendees shared a locally-sourced meal and had a chance to watch a theater performance or listen to local music rooted in the themes of just transition and community. They then had time at their tables for discussion, sharing ideas, and learning from one another about how they can achieve a new vision for Kentucky’s future.

Feedback from the events informed the creation of a People's Plan and two-day summit in October of 2016. Additional coverage in the Nation

Kentuckians For The Commonwealth and Chorus Foundation | 05/15/16

Poll: American Views on Fracking

Analysis of a survey from Fall 2015 found that: 24% of Americans report hearing a “great deal” or “good amount” about natural gas development using hydraulic fracturing, with a majority (54%) reporting that they have heard only "a little" or "nothing" about this energy extraction process. Americans are highly divided on the extraction of oil and gas through hydraulic fracturing, with about a third supporting it and slightly more than a third opposing it. Party affiliation is strongly associated with support for hydraulic fracturing, with Democrats twice as likely as Republicans to oppose it. A plurality of U.S. residents indicate that hydraulic fracturing has had a positive effect on the national economy, but most also believe it has had negative effects on the nation’s public health and environment.  Most Americans believe that experts are divided on whether fracking poses any risk, with only small portions indicating that experts have reached a conclusion either way. By over a three to one margin, Americans consider “fracking” to be a negative --rather than positive--term.

Christopher Borick and Chris Clarke. National Surveys on Energy and Environment | 05/05/16

Tracking Policymaker Discourse on Climate Change and Clean Energy

This multi-year analysis of Congrssional press releases and tweets from January 1, 2014 to December 31, 2015 assesses shifting trends of support for climate change action by measuring and tracking overall statements and social media mentions from Members of Congress on climate change.

Overall, the data shows that polarization over climate change remains highly partisan. Republicans dispute the reality of climate science, oppose EPA climate change regulations, champion the development of domestic fossil fuel resources, and support building of the Keystone Pipeline in both their Twitter posts, and press releases. Democrats overwhelmingly accept climate science and focus on the need to take action, supporting development of renewable energy and limits on carbon emissions and rejecting the Keystone Pipeline. 

However, support for renewable energy is bipartisan and statements of support from Republicans and Democrats are basically indistinguishable.  Unsurprisingly, economic developments related to clean energy in the local districts or states of Congressional representatives or Senators are championed. This growing bipartisan support for renewables may prove to be an avenue for breaking the partisan polarization currently seen in Congress on issues related to climate change. 

The analysis does show substantial shifts among two coalitions over the two-year period. These groups of Republicans may be making a qualitative shift in their position on climate change.  Both groups had a net negative climate speech score until the last six month of 2015 while also having net positive climate speech on Twitter.  

Future reports will be able to show whether or not these patterns represent an isolated incident or if it is a sign of the beginnings of a substantial redirection on climate change on the part of some Republicans. Full report here.

Bob Brulle, Drexel University. Jason Carmichael, McGill University. | 05/01/16

Poll: Fewer Americans Identify as Environmentalists

42% of Americans identify themselves as environmentalists, according to a recent Gallup survey, down from 47% in 2000 (the last year Gallup asked this question) and 63% in 1995. The all-time high was in 1991, when 78% of Americans described themselves that way. Gallup suggests the decline is related to the environment being politicized as an issue, especially regarding climate change and how to address it. "In 1991, the same high percentage of Republicans and Democrats -- 78% -- considered themselves environmentalists. Today, 27% of Republicans think of themselves that way, compared with 56% of Democrats."

 

Melissa Cronin. Grist. | 04/27/16

Poll: Only 13% of Americans Believe They Are Making Global Warming Worse

Only 13% of Americans believe they are having a negative impact on the environment while 50% felt they have a “neutral” impact on the environment

YouGov | 04/22/16