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Michigan voters are eager for climate action at the state level, and overwhelmingly support policies to guarantee clean water and protect communities of color. 65% of Michigan voters agree that state policymakers should support policies that encourage more use of clean energy like wind and solar. 62% of Michigan voters agree that state policymakers need to do more to combat climate change. 61% of Michigan voters support a limit on carbon emissions in Michigan that would decline over time, reaching a 50% net reduction in emissions by 2030 and net zero emissions by 2050.
Voters want the Farm Bill reauthorized with more environmental protections and incentives for sustainability. 83% of voters agree that farmers have a responsibility to reduce harmful pollutants reaching U.S. rivers, lakes, and oceans. 76% of voters agree that the government should encourage farmers to use climate-friendly practices. 76% of voters support increasing the total farm subsidies or aid that farmers can receive as part of the Farm Bill reauthorization if they implement more sustainable practices. 72% of voters support a federal research program as part of the Farm Bill reauthorization to help farmers understand how to move to more climate-friendly farming practices.
Mayors across the country are worried about climate impacts in their cities and agree that cities have a major role to play in addressing the climate crisis. But, they are reluctant to put bans or restrictions on individual behaviors. 73% agree that cities should be willing to expend resources and incur costs to address climate change, and 8-in-10 of those who agree say they are motivated by a “desire to do our part” irrespective of where climate impacts happen. However, there are notable partisan differences with 87% of Democratic mayors agreeing with the need to make significant financial investments in climate action compared to 43% of Republicans. While sizable, this partisan gap has closed since 2019 due to a growing share of Republicans agreeing that the investment is necessary. Mayors cite their city’s influence over building codes (55%) and zoning (38%) as their top two most powerful climate tools. In contrast, very few mayors (8%) cite their authority to ban or limit behaviors as a top tool, suggesting they are not equally bullish about all regulatory powers. Mayors are reluctant to impose restrictions on gas stoves, gas lawn tools, and gas and oil heat, or to try to dissuade residents from driving.
Voters continue to support the Inflation Reduction Act by wide margins when they learn about it, but only around half of voters (53%) have heard much about it. Voters support the Inflation Reduction Act by a 43-point margin (66% support / 23% oppose) after reading a brief, one-sentence description of it. Despite Republican attacks on increased IRS funding from the Inflation Reduction Act, more than two in five Republicans continue to support the plan (41%).
Most New York State voters support the end of gas in new construction projects. 66% of New York State voters support ending gas in new construction projects (including 85% of Democrats and 43% of Republicans). Fewer than 50% of New Yorkers believe their political leaders have done enough to address climate change. More New Yorkers are concerned about “the cost of home energy bills” (85%) than “climate change” (74%) or “the air quality in their residence” (55%).
Most voters recognize that there’s a connection between natural disasters and climate change, but Democrats and Republicans disagree on the topic. Further, voters are not familiar with racial disparities in climate impacts. 62% of voters agree that climate change presents a threat to Americans’ health. 60% of voters agree that climate change is a “crisis” (including 87% of Democrats but just 30% of Republicans). 63% of Democrats believe that communities of color are more adversely affected by climate change, but only 17% of Republicans do. 44% of voters are “a lot” or “somewhat” motivated to switch to cleaner energy in their home after learning about the Inflation Reduction Act investments (including 65% of Democrats and just 27% of Republicans). 60% of voters recognize that the frequency of natural disasters has increased in recent years. 59% of voters recognize that there is a “very” or “somewhat” strong relationship between natural disasters and climate change.
Voters continue to overwhelmingly support the creation of a Civilian Climate Corps. Voters support the establishment of a Civilian Climate Corps by a 63%-24% margin after reading a brief, one-sentence description of the proposal. After reading arguments for and against the idea, voters support President Biden establishing a Civilian Climate Corps through executive order by a 52%-37% margin.
Rural Nebraskans are concerned about extreme weather and climate change but aren’t convinced about proposed climate solutions. 59% of rural Nebraskans agree that we have a responsibility to future generations to reduce the effects of climate change. 55% of rural Nebraskans are concerned about severe droughts. 52% of rural Nebraskans recognize that human activity is contributing to climate change.
When people speak up and work together, they can spur powerful changes. Research and history suggest that local action is more powerful than many people realize. First, much of the policy change that can affect climate change is local rather than national. Second, local wins can become contagious. Third, local action can trigger national policy, spread to other countries and ultimately trigger global agreements. Yet, while 70% of American adults describe climate change as an important concern, only 10% say they volunteered for an activity focused on addressing climate change or contacted an elected official about it in the previous year. Polls show some people see how money from wealthy industries and individuals influences politicians and don’t believe politicians listen to the public, and others are distracted by arguments that can tamp down engagement, such as campaigns that urge people to focus on individual recycling, or ask why the U.S. should do more if other countries aren’t. A description of the book on which these argument are based can be found here: https://aronclimatecrisis.net/
Since 2012, global warming acceptance and worry have increased faster among younger Americans aged 18-34 compared to older Americans. More young adults today accept that global warming is happening (+13% points from 68% in 2012 to 81% in 2022) and already harming the U.S. (+24% from 40% in 2012 to 64% in 2022). Further, conservative Republicans consistently remain the least worried—the gap in worry about global warming between liberal/moderate and conservative Republicans has grown by 7% points in the last decade (from a difference of 32% points in 2012 to 39% points in 2022) and 12% points in the last five years (from a difference of 27% points in 2012 to 39% points in 2022). There is also increased political polarization in climate policy support over the last five years—conservative Republicans are much less supportive of funding research into renewable energy today (52% in 2022) than they were in five years ago (71% in 2017), and the difference in support between liberal/moderate and conservative Republicans has grown by 10% points (from a difference of 15% points in 2017 to 25% points in 2022). These findings and more come from the latest release of Climate Change in the American Mind (CCAM) data and the update to interactive data visualization tool, the CCAM Explorer. The data and tool include two additional years of public opinion about climate change (2008-2022) and enable anyone to explore Americans’ beliefs, risk perceptions, policy support, and behaviors over time and by different demographic groups.