On October 23rd, President Obama’s signature climate change program The Clean Power Plan was entered into the Federal Register. Almost immediately, 26 US states sued to stop the policy, which sets strict limits on coal-fired power plants. However, according to our model of state-level public opinion (Yale Climate Opinion Maps, 2014), a majority of the public in 23 out of the 26 states filing suits actually support setting strict limits on coal-fired power plants. Across all 26 suing states, 61% of the public supports the policy, ranging from 73% public support in New Jersey to 43% in Wyoming and West Virginia. Across all 26 suing states, only 38% of the public on average opposes the policy.Continue reading
With Pope Francis now on U.S. soil, what can be said about Americans’ receptivity to his moral entreaty to act now to limit climate change? Our research indicates the American public – Catholics and non-Catholics alike – will be receptive to the Pope’s message.Continue reading
Video: Dr. Jennifer Marlon explains why, in the face of a hurricane, some people decide to evacuate, while others try to ride out the storm.Continue reading
The final rules of the EPA Clean Power Plan are now unveiled. The plan requires states to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fired power plants, one of the nation’s largest sources of carbon pollution.
In recent months, some Republicans in Congress and governors from coal-producing states have attacked the new plan. These attacks might suggest there is widespread public opposition to regulating carbon dioxide as a pollutant. However, our research finds the opposite.
In our latest national survey (March, 2015), we found that a large majority of Americans support setting strict emission limits on coal-fired power plants; by more than a two-to-one margin: 70% support; 29% oppose.
Likewise, our models of public opinion in all 50 states (2014) find that a majority of Americans in almost every state support setting strict emission limits on coal-fired power plants.
We are pleased to announce an article published today in Nature Climate Change: "Predictors of public climate change awareness and risk perception around the world."
Our research reveals for the first time what the world thinks about climate change and why. Using data from the 2007-2008 Gallup World Poll, conducted in 119 countries, researchers identified the factors that most influence climate change awareness and risk perception for 90 percent of the world's population.
The contrast between developed and developing countries was striking: In North America, Europe and Japan, more than 90 percent of the public is aware of climate change. But in many developing countries relatively few are aware of the issue, although many do report having observed changes in local weather patterns.
Overall, we found that about 40 percent of adults worldwide have never heard of climate change. This rises to more than 65 percent in some developing countries, like Egypt, Bangladesh and India.Continue reading
As Superstorm Sandy battered the U.S. East Coast in 2012, residents in communities along the Connecticut shore received “mandatory” evacuation orders, but most people didn’t leave. A new report, "Hurricane Attitudes of Coastal Connecticut Residents: A Segmentation Analysis," based on a survey of 1,130 people living along the state’s coastline, provides insights into why some people decide to evacuate in the face of a weather emergency and why others try to ride out the storm. The report identifies five distinct groups of CT coastal residents based on their attitudes towards hurricanes: the “First Out” (21% of the population); the “Constrained” (14%); the “Optimists” (16%); the “Reluctant” (27%); and the “Diehards (22%).” The First Out are the most likely to evacuate during a hurricane whereas the Diehards are the least likely to leave. Each group, however, has unique characteristics.