Quantcast

Yale Poll: Climate Change ‘Personally Important’ to Record Number of Americans

Climate
Florida Fish and Wildlife officers responding after Hurricane Michael on Oct. 17, 2018. Gus Holzer / Florida Fish and Wildlife

A record number of Americans now say that global warming is "personally important" to them, according to the latest Climate Change and the American Mind survey released Tuesday by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication (YPCCC) and the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication. That number has jumped to 72 percent, up nine percentage points since the survey was last conducted in March of 2018.


"People are beginning to understand that climate change is here in the United States, here in my state, in my community, affecting the people and places I care about, and now," YPCCC Director Dr. Leiserowitz told The New York Times. "This isn't happening in 50 years, 100 years from now."

The survey, which was conducted between November 28 and December 11 of 2018 to 1,114 adults, also found that the highest number of Americans yet accept that global warming is happening. At 73 percent, that number has risen three points since last March and 10 points since 2015.

Other key results indicate a shift in awareness:

  • Sixty-two percent of Americans think global warming is caused by humans.
  • Only 23 percent, a record low, say it is due to natural causes.
  • Sixty-nine percent of Americans are worried about global warming, a seven point jump since last March.
  • Forty-nine percent think they will be personally harmed by global warming, seven percent more than last March.
  • Forty-eight percent say people are being harmed by global warming in the U.S. right now, a nine percent increase since last March.
  • Fifty-four percent say they have personally experienced the impacts of global warming, five percent more than last March.

"I've never seen jumps in some of the key indicators like this," Leiserowitz told The New York Times.

Leiserowitz told The New York Times he thought the spike in climate awareness was due to several factors.

  1. An uptick in extreme weather events connected to climate change: The survey found that 65 percent of Americans think that global warming is already impacting whether in the U.S.. Fifty percent thought it made 2018's wildfires worse, and 49 percent said the same about Hurricanes Michael and Florence.
  2. The 2018 release of two major reports: Both the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report warning we have 12 years to radically reduce the use of fossil fuels in order to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels and volume II of the Fourth National Climate Assessment, which laid out dire climate consequences for the U.S., drove up the sense of urgency surrounding the issue.
  3. President Donald Trump's climate denialism: Paradoxically, Trump's repeated denial of climate change is feeding Americans' increased awareness of and belief in the issue, Leiserowitz told The New York Times. This is partly because his highly-reported statements focus more media attention on the issue generally, but it is also because Trump is so divisive that when he holds a view, "he tends to drive a majority of the country in the opposite direction," Leiserowitz said.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A tropical storm above Bangkok on Aug. 04, 2016. Hristo Rusev/ NurPhoto / Getty Images

By Jeff Turrentine

First off: Bangkok Wakes to Rain, the intricately wrought, elegantly crafted debut novel by the Thai-American author Pitchaya Sudbanthad, isn't really about climate change. This tale set in the sprawling subtropical Thai capital is ultimately a kind of family saga — although its interconnected characters aren't necessarily linked by a bloodline. What binds them is their relationship to a small parcel of urban land on which has variously stood a Christian mission, an upper-class family house, and a towering condominium. All of the characters have either called this place home or had some other significant connection to it.

Read More Show Less
orn_france / iStock / Getty Images

By Susan McCabe, BSc, RD

Dioscorea alata is a species of yam commonly referred to as purple yam, ube, violet yam, or water yam.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Left: MirageC / Moment / Getty Images Right: Pongsak Tawansaeng / EyeEm / Getty Images

By Lizzie Streit, MS, RDN, LD

Sole water is water saturated with pink Himalayan salt.

Read More Show Less
People march to TCF Bank Stadium to protest against the mascot for the Washington Redskins before the game against the Minnesota Vikings on Nov. 2, 2014 at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Hannah Foslien / Getty Images

Maine Gov. Janet Mills signed a bill into law Thursday banning public schools or universities in the state from using Native American mascots, names or imagery. Mills' action will make Maine the first state in the nation with such a ban once it goes into effect later this year, The Bangor Daily News reported.

Read More Show Less
A man protests against the use of disposable plastics outside the Houses of Parliament on March 28 in London. John Keeble / Getty Images

Plastic pollution across the globe is suffocating our planet and driving Earth toward catastrophic climatic conditions if not curbed significantly and immediately, according to a new report by the Center for International Environmental Law (CEIL).

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Gov. Jay Inslee (D-WA) testifies during a House Energy and Commerce Environment and Climate Change Subcommittee hearing on Capitol Hill on April 2 in Washington, DC. Zach Gibson / Getty Images

By Julia Conley

A new climate action plan put forth by Democratic presidential candidate Gov. Jay Inslee on Thursday is being praised for highlighting the enormous benefits that would result from a rapid shift in the U.S. to a renewable energy economy that centers on the needs of workers and vulnerable communities.

Read More Show Less

Mitshu / E+ / Getty Images

By Alina Petre, MS, RD (CA)

Veganism is a way of living that tries to minimize animal exploitation and cruelty.

Read More Show Less

6okean / iStock / Getty Images Plus

A federal judge ruled this week that the Food and Drug Administration must begin implementing regulations for the many types of e-cigarettes now on the market in the U.S.

Read More Show Less