Public Resource
Environmental Polling Roundup - January 12th, 2024
David Gold, Environmental Polling Consortium

This post includes climate and environment headlines, data points, and key takeaways from recent public polls - including new polling on a new report from Yale and George Mason’s “Climate Change in the American Mind” study and a new meta-analysis of polls tracing political polarization on climate and environmental issues.



Yale + GMU
Steady majorities of Americans say that global warming is happening, caused by humans, and affecting the weather; if they could talk to global warming experts, Americans are particularly eager to learn about specific actions that countries like the U.S. can take to address the problem [ReleaseFull Report]

npj Climate Action
Meta-analysis shows that Republican partisans have been diverging from consensus views on climate change and environmental protection since the 1990s, while Democratic partisans have surged in support for climate and the environment since the mid-2010s [Open access article]



The public is more interested in hearing about climate solutions than science. Yale and GMU find that, if Americans could talk to a global warming expert, they would be most interested in learning what the U.S. and the world can do to reduce global warming. This is a marked difference from the last time that Yale and GMU asked this question in 2011, when Americans were most interested in asking how scientists know that global warming is happening and how it’s caused.

Now that the American public widely accepts the reality of climate change, there is still some opportunity to convince climate skeptics but far more opportunity to mobilize the climate-conscious majority behind concrete solutions - especially when many pro-climate actions, such as shifting to less polluting energy sources, are popular even among those who are unconvinced about climate change.

Democrats have never been more unified on the need for climate action than they are now. A meta-analysis published in npj Climate Action finds that recent partisan polarization on climate and environmental issues has been asymmetric, with Democrats shifting much more in favor of climate and the environment over the past decade than Republicans have shifted against these priorities. In particular, Democrats have surged in their prioritization of climate change since the mid-2010s and are increasingly unified in the belief that climate change should be a top priority for the country. In a presidential election year, this signals an unprecedented opportunity for the climate movement to exert pressure on candidates who are looking to court and turn out Democratic voters.



[Climate Change] 72% of Americans recognize that global warming is happening, while just 15% say that it isn’t [Yale + GMU]
[Climate Change] Americans are twice as likely to say that global warming is caused mostly by humans (58%) than to say that global warming is caused mostly by natural changes in the environment (29%). [Yale + GMU]
[Climate Change + Personal Action] 63% of Americans say that they feel a “personal sense of responsibility” to help reduce global warming [Yale + GMU]
[Climate Change + Extreme Weather] 61% of Americans recognize that global warming is affecting weather in the United States [Yale + GMU]