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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
“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.
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”.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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
As part of the "One Nation--Climate Change" series, this piece gives a thorough rundown of recent polling showing that Americans do support action to address climate change, but generally have not prioritized the issue enough to convince elected officials to act. The piece also walks through some of the reasons for Republicans and conservatives being less supportive of action on climate change, including that many climate campaigns call for the type of "big government" solutions that conservatives instinctively oppose.
A majority of conservative voters (~58% in 2016 compared to ~39% in 2012) now favor passing legislation that requires America’s energy companies to generate a greater proportion of power from Alternative Energy sources over the next several years. Although natural gas is viewed as an important part of energy policy in the United States, general support for natural gas and fracking has weakened, even among conservatives, likely as a result of increased awareness and campaigns against fracking. 76% of voters support natural gas in 2016 compared to 91% in 2012, and 42% of voters support fracking in 2016 compared to 50% in 2012. Support for expanding biofuels as part of energy production in the United States has grown significantly while support for nuclear energy has decreased since 2012. Conservative voters view nuclear energy and coal as favorable energy sources, while liberals and moderates have decidedly negative views on nuclear energy and coal.
Summary of climate change research recommends to: Tell a story rather than reciting facts -- and tailor that story to your audience; Focus on solutions and how we will be remembered in the future; Engage youth; and (most importantly) to "just talk about it." What to avoid: Don't try to scare people; Don't rely on stock photos; and Don't get discouraged that you can't reach everyone.
Three-quarters of Americans are either "very concerned" or "somewhat concerned" about global climate change -- representing high, but virtually unchanged levels of concern since the last poll was conducted in 2015. In peninsular Florida, however, a parallel survey of residents found that 81.3% were "very concerned" or "somewhat concerned," a marked increase from last year’s poll when only 67% felt that way. Read the full press release from Saint Leo University.
Anger exacerbates partisan differences on a divisive political issue, according to a new study with potential implications for other divisive issues like climate change. Alternately, respondents who were prompted to feel either sad or no emotion in advance of being asked about a divisive issue were less likely to express strong partisan differences or perceive a partisan divide in how others would see the issue.
Opposition to fracking rose among Americans to 51%, from 40% in 2015. Similarly, support for fracking slipped to 36%, from 40% in 2015. Republicans had the biggest drop in support for fracking, falling from to 55% support, from 66% support in 2015. Read the full press release from Gallup.
Guide features visual communication recommendations based on audience research and tips for testing images on your campaign. Five takeaways include: Use images your audience can recognize as local; Include elements that help your viewers relate personally -- like homes, activities, or people; With online action appeals or ads to new audiences, be careful of images that spark interests unrelated to your ask; Accompanying text can create impact, but the image comes first; and Juxtaposition can be effective.
According to a new survey of American Meteorological Society (AMS) members, 95% of meteorologists conclude climate change is happening, and more than 80% say it is human-caused. The survey represents a shift in the stance on climate change views among meteorologists. (A similar 2011 survey found that only 59% of meterologists believed human activity was the "primary cause" of climate change.) Nearly 90% of AMS members say they are "more convinced than ever" that climate change is human-caused, and 1 in 5 say their opinion about climate change has changed in the past five years. Additional analysis in the Washington Post.
Gallup's annual environmental poll found that more Americans (64%) are worried about global warming than at any point in the last eight years, and that 41% believe that global warming will pose a serious threat to them or their way of life in their lifetime--the highest percentage expressing that belief since the question was first asked in 1997. Additionally, there was a 10% jump from last year in the portion of Americans (65%) who believe that human activities are more to blame for rising temperatures, which was also the highest percentage recorded for that question since 1997. This included a 12% jump among independents from last year for that question. See coverage in Grist here.
A National People's Action analysis of media coverage of the Clean Power Plan found that, when it comes to speaking specifically to CPP’s impact on People of Color and low- to moderateincome people, opposition to the EPA's regulations is defining the debate. Recommendations for shifting the existing narrative include: "Present the Clean Power Plan as an opportunity to tackle the twin problems of climate change and inequality"; "Talk about specific solutions that can create economic opportunity in the most impacted communities, especially low to moderate-income communities and communities of color"; "Work to inject the stories of diverse, everyday people into the debate"; and "Combat climate nihilism with an expansive vision of climate opportunity".
Blue Engine Media highlights the power of John Oliver's approach to issue advocacy and breaks down why it's so successful.
Key elements to successful issue advocacy that Last Week Tonight is hitting out of the ballpark:
1. Grab attention to the issues
2. Present the Problem
3. Sell the Solution
4. Ask For Action
Interesting long read in the New Yorker that discusses the history of the advancements made in public opinion polling techniques over the last 6 decades, as well as highlighting the ongoing shifts and increasing reliance on data science as a complementary alternative or addendum to traditional polling.
Survey results suggest that many Americans in the less engaged segments hold values that are consistent with a moral or religious argument for climate action. The communication of a moral perspective on global warming by religious leaders such as Pope Francis may therefore reach segments of the U.S. public that have yet to engage with the issue.
While 13% of the millennials polled said "environmental issues/ climate change" is a top issue for the next president to prioritize, 80% said the US should transition to mostly clean or renewable energy by 2030. 55% of respondents said there are better ways to make a difference than voting--but 75% said voting is a way to have an impact on issues they care about. See coverage in USA Today, Time and Grist.
Article examines way in which Keystone fight transformed climate activism from an "inside the beltway" strategy to a more localized, grassroots movement by reframing the issue as "closer to home" and plugging people into local policy fights that involved blocking infrastructure "in people's backyards." Organizers also learned that climate campaigners are most successful when they: "dig into the community" and "invest time and resources into local leaderships to build long-term momentum."