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Voters widely agree that “environmental justice” is important when the concept is explained to them. Voters also generally support the Justice40 initiative, despite disagreements on how to implement it. 77% of voters say that it’s important for lawmakers to consider environmental justice in creating environmental laws after reading a brief definition of the term “environmental justice,” including 42% who say it’s “very” important for lawmakers to consider environmental justice. Voters support the Justice40 initiative by a 54%-33% margin after reading a brief description of it.
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.
It’s better to prioritize policies and messaging to “make our future housing stock cleaner, healthier and safer and electrify our lives with abundance,” rather than banning gas stoves, which makes people think of sacrifice and should be avoided. Further, in telling a political narrative about the issue, blame the producer, not the consumer. It’s also important to remember that while we need to transition off dependence on gas heating and gas use in homes, changing home cooking will accomplish a tiny portion of our carbon pollution goal—it shouldn’t become the centerpiece of climate messaging.
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.