POLL: Nearly Half Of Americans Are More Convinced Than They Were Five Years Ago That Climate Change Is Happening, With Extreme Weather Driving Their Views

The Associated Press & NORC Center for Public Affairs Research
01/22/19

Forty-eight percent of Americans find the science on climate change to be more convincing than it was 5 years ago, with three-quarters of them crediting recent extreme weather events for changing their views. And 7 in 10 Americans now say climate change is happening, including 86% of Democrats, 52% of Republicans, and 70% of Independents. 

Meanwhile, 44% support a carbon tax, while 29% of those surveyed oppose one and 25% say they neither support nor oppose it. When told some ways the funds might be used, support is higher: two-thirds support a carbon tax if the funds are used for environmental restoration. If respondents are told that the revenues will be rebated to households, 49% support it.

When asked about the Trump administration's proposed freeze on fuel efficiency standards, half of those surveyed were told the proposed freeze could mean that greenhouse gas emissions would not be reduced. In those cases, only 21% support the freeze. The other half of those surveyed were told the proposed freeze could lead to reduced prices for cars. In response, 49% support the freeze. 

This survey was conducted by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research with adults age 18 and over representing the 50 states and the District of Columbia.