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This post includes climate and environment headlines, data points, and key takeaways from recent public polls - including new polling on support for climate justice policies, the EPA and FDA, climate impacts, and climate as a top priority among young people.
Majorities of Americans say that climate change is caused by humans and contributing to recent extreme weather events. 67% of Americans are concerned about climate change, including 41% who are “very” concerned. 59% of Americans believe that recent climate change is primarily caused by human activity. 58% of Americans believe that the extreme weather events in the United States over the past few years are related to climate change.
This post includes climate and environment headlines, data points, and key takeaways from recent public polls - including new polling on Americans' beliefs about climate impacts in their areas and lifetimes and partisan polarization about beliefs about climate impacts.
Most Americans say that they’ve grown more concerned about climate change in recent years, as majorities say that extreme heat and unusual weather have become more frequent where they live. 69% of Americans say that they’re concerned about climate change. 68% of Americans recognize that extreme weather events will become more frequent in the near future. 53% of Americans say that they’ve become more concerned about climate change in the past few years, while only 10% say that they’ve become less concerned.
Gendered and Racial Impacts of the Fossil Fuel Industry in North America and Complicit Financial Institutions
This report finds an indisputable connection between the fossil fuel industry’s practices and negative impacts to African American/Black/ African Diaspora, Indigenous, Latina/Chicana, and low-income women’s health, safety, and human rights in the U.S. and parts of Canada. Specifically, fossil fuel-derived air, water, and soil pollution impact women’s fertility, mental health, and daily work and responsibilities. The negative effects from fossil fuel activity—including extraction, storage and transportation of coal, oil, and gas often in the form of liquefied natural gas (LNG)—stem from direct pollution of communities by fossil fuel companies’ contributions to industrial carbon dioxide and methane. The climate crisis does not and will not affect everyone equally, as factors such as gender, race, and socio-economic status make certain communities significantly more vulnerable to the increasing threats of climate change. Global inequalities, rooted in structural patriarchy, colonialism, white supremacy, and capitalism, continue to place people of the global majority, and specifically women, at risk.
This post includes climate and environment headlines, data points, and key takeaways from recent public polls - including new polling on conservative groups' environmental ideas, extreme weather, messaging about climate justice, and western voters' conservation preferences.
Americans are making the connection between natural disasters and climate change and support urgent action on environmental issues. 37% of Americans believed that the recent wildfires in Maui are primarily the result of climate change, while a similar share (36%) said these events just happen from time to time, and 21% said they weren’t sure. But under those topline numbers, there’s a big partisan divide. According to the poll, 63% of voters who supported President Biden in 2020 think that the recent wildfires in Maui are primarily the result of climate change, while the same share of Trump voters just think these things happen from time to time. Most Americans agree that the weather across the U.S. has gotten weirder — and in some cases, deadlier — over the past few years. According to an Ipsos poll conducted in April, two-thirds (67%) of respondents agreed that unusual weather for the season has gotten more frequent in their area than compared to 10 years ago, and a solid majority (60%) thought the weather has also become more intense.
The majority of Americans say that climate change is affecting their local community. Most want the government to encourage clean energy but not fossil fuels. 67% of Americans agree that large businesses and corporations are doing too little to help reduce the effects of global climate change. 66% of Americans say that the federal government should encourage the production of wind and solar power. 61% of Americans agree that climate change is having at least “some” impact on their local community. 58% of Americans agree that their state elected officials are doing too little to help reduce the effects of global climate change.
Americans who experience climate distress are more likely to take personal action on climate change. Americans who had experienced at least one feature of climate distress were much more likely than those who had not to say they had taken different forms of climate action. This includes having signed a petition about global warming (46% vs. 10%, respectively), or having volunteered at an organization working on global warming (19% vs. 2%). Americans who experienced at least one feature of climate distress were more likely than those who had not to say they would meet with an elected official or their staff about global warming (41% vs. 20%, respectively), write letters, email, or phone government officials about global warming (40% vs. 21%), or personally engage in non-violent civil disobedience (e.g., sit-ins, blockades, or trespassing) against corporate or government activities that make global warming worse (35% vs. 9%).
Global warming moved from the North Pole to your backyard — and so did its symbols. Starting about two decades ago, National Geographic and the like began churning out images of lonely, hungry bears adrift on melting ice floes, painting them as the hapless victims of climate change. But today, that symbol has largely fallen out of fashion. The advocacy group ClimateXChange even says the focus on the polar bear has done a “disservice” to the goals of the movement, and a handbook for public engagement for members of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the world’s leading group of climate experts convened by the United Nations, says the image prompts “cynicism and fatigue.” As climate change began to have visible effects in richer countries, the movement to new imagery happened naturally.