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ecoAmerica 2018 American Climate Perspectives Mid-Year Summary

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The ecoAmerica 2018 American Climate Perspectives Mid-Year Summary summarizes the findings of this year's national polls regarding climate attitudes and trends of the American public.

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ecoAmerica 2018 American Climate Perspectives Mid-Year Summary

  1. 1. American Climate Perspectives: 2018 Mid-Year Summary
  2. 2. ecoAmerica.orgAmerican Climate Perspectives: 2018 Mid-Year Summary | 2 ecoAmerica Suggested Citation: Fery, P., Kobayashi, N., & Speiser, M. (2018). American Climate Perspectives: 2018 Mid-Year Summary. ecoAmerica. Washington, D.C. © 2018 ecoAmerica. The contents of this report may be shared and used under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. We build a critical mass of institutional leadership, public support, and political will for climate solutions in the United States. •  Visible Institutional Leadership •  Climate Literate Leaders + Staff •  Engaged Communities •  Build Collective Action Methodology: This report is based on a meta analysis and synthesis of polls on American climate attitudes, opinions, and values.
  3. 3. ecoAmerica.orgAmerican Climate Perspectives: 2018 Mid-Year Summary | 3 AWARENESS: Americans are noticing a variety of climate impacts, all at steadily increasing rates over the past three years Saint Leo University (2015-2018), Yale/George Mason (2018) Note: no data available for increased flooding in 2015 and severe weather 11% 16% 17% 60% 24% 22% 24% 26% 61% 45% 30% 32% 32% 45% 57% 59% 48% 64% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 2015 2016 2017 2018 2018 (Yale/George Mason) % of Americans that have noticed… Increased flooding Increased drought conditions Unusually severe weather/ storms Warmer temperatures
  4. 4. ecoAmerica.orgAmerican Climate Perspectives: 2018 Mid-Year Summary | 4 AWARENESS: Americans also report they are being personally impacted by climate, with notable increases in feeling impacted generally and by flooding 31% 36% 44% 41% 37% 42% 44% 48% 56% 48% 59% 67% 59% 68% 53% 51% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 2015 2016 2017 2018 % of Americans personally impacted by… The effects of global warming Increased flooding More frequent droughts Heat waves More severe weather ecoAmerica (2015-2017) Yale & George Mason (2015-2018): “The effects of global warming”
  5. 5. ecoAmerica.orgAmerican Climate Perspectives: 2018 Mid-Year Summary | 5 UNDERSTANDING: A growing number of Americans believe that human activity is mainly or partially contributing to climate change 22% 26% 27% 16% 16% 22% 23% 45% 44% 53%53% 55% 58% 58% 55% 65% 68% 64% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 2015 2016 2017 2018 % of Americans that believe… Climate change is happening mainly due to human activities (ecoAmerica) Global climate change is caused entirely by human activity (Saint Leo University) The Earth is warming mostly because of human activity (Pew) Global warming is caused mostly by human activities (Yale & George Mason) Global warming is caused by human activities (Gallup)
  6. 6. ecoAmerica.orgAmerican Climate Perspectives: 2018 Mid-Year Summary | 6 UNDERSTANDING: Americans are beginning to make the connection between extreme weather and climate change 36% 49% 28% 25% 55% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% Global warming is a major cause of the increase in the number and strength of hurricanes in recent years The recent hurricanes are most likely the result of global climate change Global warming made hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria a lot worse % of Americans that believe... Yale & George Mason (2017) CNN (2017) CNN (2005) WP-ABC (2017) WP-ABC (2005)
  7. 7. ecoAmerica.orgAmerican Climate Perspectives: 2018 Mid-Year Summary | 7 CONCERN: Personal climate concern remains high—or hitting a high—in America 74%67% 66% 76% 62% 49% 58% 62% 35% 24% 40% 26% 41% 25% 30% 37% 43% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 1989 1991 1999 2001 2003 2006 2008 2010 2012 2014 2016 2018 % of Americans personally concerned about climate change or global warming Saint Leo University ecoAmerica Quinnipiac University Yale & George Mason Gallup
  8. 8. ecoAmerica.orgAmerican Climate Perspectives: 2018 Mid-Year Summary | 8 CONCERN: However, in the past year there has been a drop in American concern about environmental quality and belief we have a responsibility to do something 87% 83% 53% 59% 48% 60% 63% 59% 35% 43% 34% 31% 47% 42% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% 2004 2006 2008 2010 2012 2014 2016 2018 % of Americans that say… We have a moral responsibility to create a safe and healthy climate for ourselves and our children (ecoAmerica) I am concerned a great deal about pollution of drinking water (Gallup) I am worried a great deal about the quality of the environment (Gallup)
  9. 9. ecoAmerica.orgAmerican Climate Perspectives: 2018 Mid-Year Summary | 9 61% 71% 58% 70% 47% 55% 36% 57% 28% 19% 32% 23% 36% 54% 35% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 1984 1995 1999 2002 2006 2010 2013 2017 % of Americans the prioritize protecting the environment over economic growth Protection of the environment Economic growth PRIORITY: A growing number of Americans give greater priority to environmental protections than economic growth Gallup (1984-2018)
  10. 10. ecoAmerica.orgAmerican Climate Perspectives: 2018 Mid-Year Summary | 10 URGENCY: A majority of Americans feel personal and collective urgency and ability to reduce the pollution that is causing damage to our climate 68% 80% 70% 79% 73% 80% 72% 78% 70% 77% 68% 76% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% % of Americans that believe… ecoAmerica (2015) ecoAmerica (2016) ecoAmerica (2017) I need to take action now to reduce pollution that is causing climate change We need to take action now to reduce pollution that is causing climate change I can help reduce the pollution that is causing climate change We can help reduce the pollution that is causing climate change
  11. 11. ecoAmerica.orgAmerican Climate Perspectives: 2018 Mid-Year Summary | 11 SOLUTIONS: Americans favor clean energy by a high majority over other sources 87% 63% 47% 43% 37% 88% 61% 42% 37% 30% 34% 89% 83% 42% 45% 43% 42% 41% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% Wind and solar Solar Wind Natural Gas Oil Offshore drilling Nuclear Fracking Coal % of Americans that support or believe we should produce more… ecoAmerica (2017) ecoAmerica (2016) University of Michigan (2018) Pew (2017)
  12. 12. ecoAmerica.orgAmerican Climate Perspectives: 2018 Mid-Year Summary | 12 BENEFITS: Significantly more Americans say climate solutions would help the economy, and environmental protections are critical, no matter what 14% 17% 32% 33% 37% Unsure Should not be pursued if they negatively impact the economy Create new economic opportunities Are important even when they negatively impact the economy Are critical, no matter what 0% 5% 10%15%20%25%30%35%40% % of Americans that agree environmental protections… 64% 16% 12% 8% % of Americans that agree… Addressing climate change would help the economy Addressing climate change would hurt the economy Make no difference Not sure ecoAmerica (2017)Saint Leo University (2018)
  13. 13. ecoAmerica.orgAmerican Climate Perspectives: 2018 Mid-Year Summary | 13 BEHAVIORS: Americans are talking about climate change at their place and worship and purchasing clean energy at increasing rates over prior years 64% 69% 35% 41% 15% 24% 13% 22% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 2015 2016 2017 % of Americans that have… Discussed climate change with family or friends Discussed climate change at work with colleagues Discussed climate change at their place of worship Purchased wind or solar for their home ecoAmerica (2015-2017)
  14. 14. ecoAmerica.orgAmerican Climate Perspectives: 2018 Mid-Year Summary | 14 BEHAVIORS: More Americans are speaking publicly on climate, and over one-third are making climate a voting issue 26% 7% 34% 8% 35% 16% 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% 40% 45% 50% Contacted or voted for an elected official based on their support for taking action on climate change Spoke at a public gathering about the importance of doing something about climate change % of Americans that have… ecoAmerica (2015) ecoAmerica (2016) ecoAmerica (2017) Note: 2015-2016 data for “Contacted or voted for…” was based on a different question asking only “Have you voted for a candidate…”
  15. 15. ecoAmerica.orgAmerican Climate Perspectives: 2018 Mid-Year Summary | 15 ROLE OF GOVERNMENT: A majority of Americans believe government and communities need to prepare for climate change 48% 57% 59% 62% 70% 83% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% 2015 2016 2017 2018 % of Americans that believe… Government is doing too little in terms of protecting the environment (Gallup) Government needs to protect all people from the impacts of extreme weather (ecoAmerica) Communities need to prepare for floods and droughts and minimize their impact (ecoAmerica) Note: Both “Government needs..” and “Believe government is…” were first asked in 2017
  16. 16. ecoAmerica.orgAmerican Climate Perspectives: 2018 Mid-Year Summary | 16 ROLE OF GOVERNMENT: Americans say the federal government has the responsibility to act, but the private sector is most likely to do so 28% 17% 13% 42% 52% 41% 34% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% Federal government State government Local government Private sector % of Americans that say ______ has a great deal of responsibility to act to reduce global warming (University of Michigan 2018) % of Americans that say ______ is most likely to advance climate solutions (ecoAmerica 2017)
  17. 17. ecoAmerica.orgAmerican Climate Perspectives: 2018 Mid-Year Summary | 17 FEDERAL ACTIONS: Majorities of Americans oppose Trump Administration efforts to rollback environmental progress 67% 66% 65% 59% 59% 55% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% Eliminate energy efficiency programs Reduce funding for research and development of renewable technology Reduce funding for NOAA Reduce funding for the EPA Reduce funding to research solutions that address climate change Expand leasing of oceans and public lands % of Americans that oppose President Trump’s efforts to… American Viewpoint & NRDC (2017)
  18. 18. ecoAmerica.orgAmerican Climate Perspectives: 2018 Mid-Year Summary | 18 POLITICS: Political parties find common ground on clean energy, grid modernization, and carbon tax 81% 83% 87% 75% 87% 85% 81% 79% 86% 89% 83% 89% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% A proposal to reduce climate change pollution by charging corporate polluters a fee for pollution they create A proposal to reduce climate change pollution by modernizing America's electric grid The U.S. producing more from wind and solar than it is today % of Americans that favor… National Republicans Independents Democrats ecoAmerica (2017)
  19. 19. Thank you! ecoAmerica builds institutional leadership, public support, and political will for climate solutions in the United States. Learn more at ecoAmerica.org

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