Americans’ climate change concerns surge to record levels, poll shows

(The Guardian, 22 Jan 2019) Total of 72% polled now say global warming is personally important to them, Yale said, as 73% accept it is happening.

Americans’ concerns about climate change have surged to record levels, new polling shows, following a year marked by devastating storms, wildfires and increasingly dire warnings from scientists.

A total of 72% of polled Americans now say global warming is personally important to them, according to the Yale program on climate change communication. This is the highest level of concern since Yale starting polling the question in 2008.

Overall, 73% of Americans accept that global warming is happening, outnumbering those who don’t by five to one. This acceptance has strengthened in recent years, rising by 10% since March 2015. The proportion that grasps that humans are the primary cause of warming is smaller, with 62% understanding this to be the case.

About two-thirds of Americans believe that global warming is influencing the weather, in the wake of a string of deadly extreme events in the US. About half say the disastrous wildfires in California and Hurricanes Florence and Michael, which flattened parts of North Carolina and Florida, were worsened because of rising global temperatures.

“Global warming used to be viewed as a problem distant in time and space,” said report co-lead researcher Ed Maibach, a climate change and public health communications expert at George Mason University.

External link

The Guardian, 22 Jan 2019: Americans’ climate change concerns surge to record levels, poll shows