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This post includes climate and environment headlines, data points, and key takeaways from recent public polls - including new national polling on the Inflation Reduction Act, national polling on the Farm Bill, polling in Michigan about climate action at the state level, and a new survey of U.S. mayors about climate policy.
This post includes climate and environment headlines, data points, and key takeaways from recent public polls - including national polling about climate change and its impacts, national polling about extreme weather and congressional action on climate change, and new polling in New York State about the proposed end of gas hookups in new construction projects.
CBS News poll analysis: Amid concern about extreme weather events, most want Congress to fight climate change
Americans overwhelmingly say that they want their member of Congress to support efforts to fight climate change. 71% of Americans want their representative in Congress to support efforts to fight climate change. 67% of Americans who report that their area has experienced more extreme weather in recent years say that the experience has made them more concerned about climate change.
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.
90% of U.S. counties have experienced a federal climate disaster between 2011-2021, with some having as many as 12 disasters during that time. In 2021 alone, the U.S. experienced 20 separate billion-dollar climate disasters with over 688 direct or indirect fatalities. This report and map show data on county-by-county climate impacts from 2011-2021. Users can also study data from individual states.
Voters are worried that climate change will increase the cost of living, but have hope that the expansion of renewables will bring down energy costs. 69% of all likely voters believe that climate change effects will increase costs for consumers. 70% of Americans believe that expanding renewable energy production, like wind and solar power, will bring energy costs down (including 88% of Democrats and 53% of Republicans).
Americans are split on whether recent hurricanes are being caused by climate change. The Economist and YouGov find that 55% of Americans believe that the world’s climate is changing as a result of human activity, which is on par with what we’ve seen in other recent public polling. Meanwhile, 25% believe that the world’s climate is changing naturally, 9% deny that the world’s climate is changing at all, and 11% say they aren’t sure. When asked whether recent severe hurricanes are “primarily the result of climate change” or just the “kinds of events that happen from time to time,” Americans are split nearly evenly: 41% believe that climate change is the primary cause, while 38% say that severe hurricanes “just happen from time to time.” Beliefs about the causes of recent hurricanes also correlate strongly with partisanship: nearly two-thirds of Democrats (66%) say that climate change is the primary cause of severe recent hurricanes, compared to just 35% of independents and only 20% of Republicans.
Climate change is largely absent in scripted entertainment—but there are ways for entertainment creators to improve. Just 2.8% of all scripts included any climate-related keywords, and only 0.6% of scripted TV and films mentioned the specific term “climate change.” When extreme weather events are mentioned, they are rarely linked to climate change (10%). Similarly, when climate change is mentioned, it is rarely discussed alongside the fossil fuel industry (12%) or individual climate actions (8%). And yet, there is audience demand for climate portrayals. Survey respondents believe the average American is less concerned about the climate crisis than they are personally. Still, they retain hope. Those who are hopeful about climate solutions are 3.5 times more likely to say they want to see climate portrayals in fictional entertainment. To improve climate references in mainstream entertainment, consider climate in all genres, connect the dots between climate causes and effects, give voice to climate anxiety, show the intersections between climate and other issues, and promote various climate actions.
Climate justice for Latino Americans means centering policies that achieve environmental, energy, and economic justice together. Latino/a/x households pay disproportionately high energy costs, low-income, Latino/a/x households and communities have so far been left behind in the transition to clean energy, and Latino/a/x workers need a pathway to clean energy jobs. Therefore, we need to invest with justice in clean energy, accelerate the transition to renewable energy (i.e., wind, solar, geothermal and small-scale hydropower), and advance economic equity and opportunity for Latino/a/x workers. This resource further details these problems and policy and political solutions, as related to transit, jobs, fossil fuel drilling, climate adaptation, clean water, voting rights, conservation, and more.