Concern over climate change has reached a new high this year with 65% of Americans expressing a “great deal” or “fair amount” of worry, according to the latest Gallup Poll. Attributed in large part to changing weather patterns, Americans are beginning to notice the impact climate change is having on their daily lives. Still, the numbers are lower than the record high in 2000 when 75% of Americans expressed a similar level of distress.
What happened during that time and how can we reach the degree of awareness that we achieved in 2000?
While the climate concern of Americans may be increasing, there is still a lack of discussion about the moral issue. According to ecoAmerica's new report, Let's Talk Climate, people of faith are far more likely to express concern over climate change when their trusted faith leader frames the discussion in theological terms and spark discussion among congregations. Learn more about common themes, statistics and strategies regarding climate communications in this groundbreaking report.
The current climate distress means nothing without the guidance of trusted leaders. People are concerned, giving us a unique opportunity to help them navigate that worry. Will you lead people of faith from climate fear to climate solution?
Americans’ Concern About Climate Change Is Growing
Alejandro Davilla Fragoso | Climate Progress
If you are concerned about global warming, you are part of a growing majority that hadn’t been this large since 2008, a new Gallup poll has found.
In fact, 64 percent of adults say they are worried a “great deal” or “fair amount” about global warming, up from 55 percent at this time last year. According to the poll, concerns about global warming have increased among all party groups since 2015, though concerns remain much higher among Democrats than Republicans and Independents.
In March, 40 percent of Republicans said they worry a great deal or fair amount about global warming, up from 31 percent last year. Independents expressing concern increased nine points, from 55 percent to 64 percent. Democrats’ concern is up slightly less — four points — and is now at 84 percent.
“All of these things that Gallup is showing are all things that we expected to see,” Geoff Feinberg, research director for the Yale Program on Climate Change Communications, told ThinkProgress. “We didn’t know when it was going to happen, but it looks like it’s happening now.”
Americans’ shift toward belief in global warming follows a winter that most described in the same poll as being unusually warm. Sixty-three percent of Americans said they experienced an unusually warm winter, and most attributed the warm weather pattern to human-caused climate change. Indeed, December to February was the hottest meteorological winter ever recorded. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported that this winter was 2.03°F above the 20th century average.
“I think the unseasonably warm winter has a lot to do with this [change], because people were able to experience first-hand global warming,” said Feinberg, adding that all the attention around theParis agreement also influenced people’s opinion.