Poll: Voters Support Holding Fossil Fuel Companies Accountable for Addressing Climate Change

Voters widely support corporate climate accountability along the lines of the Polluters Pay Climate Fund Act. The legislation has the backing of nearly two-thirds of voters (65% support/25% oppose) after it’s described as “a new bill to impose a $500 billion fee on major fossil fuel companies as partial compensation for the damages caused by these companies’ emissions that have contributed to climate change.” Support is sharply driven by partisanship, with Democrats (83% support/9% oppose) and independents (65% support/25% oppose) both much more supportive than Republicans (43% support/42% oppose). However, Republican voters don’t reject the idea outright. In fact, there’s a high degree of asymmetric polarization with Democrats caring far more about passing the legislation (50% strongly support) than Republicans care about stopping it (24% strongly oppose).

Poll: Voters Want Investments in Physical Infrastructure and Care Economy Passed Together

Grid modernization is an overwhelmingly popular selling point for the Build Back Better budget. This poll found that voters overall are slightly more supportive of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework (69% support/23% oppose) than the $3.5 trillion budget - primarily because Republicans generally support the BIF (57% support/35% oppose) but not the larger budget proposal (41% support/51% oppose). Here are some components tested in the Data for Progress / Invest in America poll, ranked by overall support: modernizing the electric grid, improving reliability, and funding new research (76% support/17% oppose); repairing and modernizing K-12 school buildings (73% support/22% oppose); creating a Civilian Climate corps to add jobs to address climate change and conservation: 61% support/31% oppose.

In 2021, even the weather is politicized

Partisanship drives Americans’ perceptions of weather. Two recent surveys conducted by YouGov for Yahoo News in July and early August asked representative samples of Americans if they have “noticed more extreme events (heat waves, fires, storms, etc.) where you live?” Given a variety of recent weather and climate disasters, including the warmest June on record for the U.S., it’s not surprising that better than half (54%) say yes, they have noticed more extreme weather events. Two in five (38%) say no and 7% are unsure. What is perhaps more surprising – or perhaps not – is the apparent influence of politics on their answers: nationwide, 72% of Democrats and Democratic leaners say they have noticed extreme weather events in their area compared to just 36% of Republicans and Republican leaners. Republicans are more than twice as likely to say they have not noticed extreme weather events (60%) than Democrats (22%). Democrats are more likely than Republicans to report noticing extreme weather in both the 14 heat wave states (78% vs. 49%) and elsewhere in the U.S. (70% vs 33%). Even in the states bearing the brunt of the record-setting heat wave, 48% of Republicans say they have not noticed more extreme weather events where they live.

Study: Extreme weather may not lead to increased support for climate action

Hot, dry days are more likely to affect Americans’ climate change beliefs than other types of extreme weather. The data show that Democrats and Republicans living in the same states or counties — or even sharing the same roof — can be a world apart when it comes to perceived experience with global warming. While 60% of Democrats nationally say they have personally experienced global warming, only 22% of Republicans agree. Only one type of weather has affected Americans’ beliefs that they had experienced global warming: hot, dry days. When hot, dry days persist for a long period of time, drought conditions arise. In particular, the intense heat and lack of rainfall that affected Texas and the Midwest in 2011, and which turned into a severe drought, stands out clearly in the study’s climate data. This drought was also associated with extreme wildfires in Texas, which burned about 4 million acres that year, doubling the previous record.

Poll: Florida Voters Give Governor Desantis Mixed Grades

Half of Floridians think that climate change will negatively impact the state in their lifetimes. Quinnipiac polled Florida voters and found that 51% believe climate change will have a significant negative effect on the state in their lifetimes, while 44% don’t expect it to. These beliefs are driven in large part by both party and age: 83% of Florida Democrats expect to see significant negative impacts from climate change in Florida, compared to just 17% of Republicans. Voters aged 18 to 34 are also far more likely to expect to see the significant negative impacts of climate change in Florida (70%) than voters aged 35-49 (53%), voters aged 50-64 (47%), or voters aged 65+ (40%). The Quinnipiac poll also asked whether voters believed Governor Ron DeSantis was doing enough, doing too much, or needs to do more about a couple of specific environmental issues, and found that majorities believe he should do more both to address rising sea levels (55%) and protect the Everglades (52%).

Poll: Many Californians report being personally impacted by last year’s unusually heavy precipitation

More than two-thirds of California voters expect extreme weather swings to become more common due to climate change, and Californians are deeply concerned about the water situation in the West. 81% of California voters say that it’s important for the state to continue enforcing water conservation policies for residential, commercial, and agricultural water users - including 52% who say it’s “very” important. 69% of California voters expect extreme swings in the state’s weather to become more common because of climate change. 60% of California voters support reducing water deliveries from the Colorado River.

In Response to Climate Change, Citizens in Advanced Economies Are Willing To Alter How They Live and Work

Most Americans are willing to make changes to their own lives to help reduce the effects of climate change. Ideology plays a larger role in shaping Americans’ climate attitudes than it does in other advanced economies. Three-fifths of Americans (60%) are at least “somewhat” concerned about climate change harming them personally, which is lower than any country surveyed aside from the Netherlands (59%) and Sweden (44%). In comparable economies such as Canada (68%), the U.K. (71%), and Germany (75%), two-thirds or more are concerned about climate change affecting them. There is a far wider gap between left- and right-leaning citizens’ climate attitudes in the United States than in any other country surveyed. Whether looking at personal concerns about climate (59-point gap between left and right in the U.S.) or willingness to make lifestyle changes to help reduce the effects of climate change (49-point gap between left and right in the U.S.), the difference in responses between left- and right-leaning Americans is much bigger than in any other country surveyed. Liberal and moderate Americans have similar climate attitudes as their ideological counterparts in other advanced economies, but conservative Americans are outliers even within the international right wing. U.S. moderates are equally or more willing to change their lifestyles to reduce the effects of climate change as those in the ideological center in Canada (82%), Australia (80%), and Germany (75%).

Poll: The 2023 Axios Harris Poll 100 reputation rankings

Patagonia tops the list of the country’s most respected brands. Fossil fuel companies - especially ExxonMobil and BP - fare poorly. Patagonia scored 83.5, an “excellent” score. Exxon was 82nd on the list, scoring 68.9, a “fair” score. BP was 92nd, scoring 63.5, a “poor” score.

Can Americans Talk About Their History Without False Antagonism?

Americans think they disagree about their national history more than they actually do. Republicans think Democrats want to teach a history exclusively defined by shameful oppression and guilt, while Democrats believe Republicans want to overlook grave injustices like slavery and racism—yet both impressions are incorrect. For example, the proportion of Republicans who agree that “Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks should be taught as examples of Americans who fought for equality” is more than two times more than Democrats think (93% versus 35%). In another example, about twice as many Democrats believe “students should not be made to feel guilty or personally responsible for the errors of prior generations” than Republicans think (83% versus 43%). How can we close that perception gap? First, correcting misperceptions can reduce perception gaps. Second, we can all personally do our best to reduce our own perception gaps. Third, enter into dialogue with someone with a different political viewpoint. Fourth, help build an alternative social network ecosystem of people with a variety of viewpoints.

A Guide to Hope-based Communications

Hope is a pragmatic strategy, informed by history, communications experts, organizers, neuroscience, and cognitive linguistics. It can be applied to any strategy or campaign. A hope-based communications strategy involves making five basic shifts in the way movements talk about human rights. First, talk about solutions, not problems. Second, highlight what we stand for, not what we oppose. Third, create opportunities and drop threats. Fourth, emphasize support for heroes, not pity for victims. Fifth, show that “we got this”— tell a story of change, how we can make our societies better.