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Risk Perceptions

November 15 2013

American perceptions of hydraulic fracturing

American perceptions of hydraulic fracturing

We co-authored an original article using our research on public opinion about fracking, published in the journal Energy Policy.

Highlights:

  • We conducted a survey of Americans' views on hydraulic fracturing in September 2012
  • A majority of Americans have heard little or nothing about hydraulic fracturing.
  • Many Americans do not know if they support/oppose it or are undecided.
  • Those who have made a decision are evenly split between support and opposition.
  • Predictors of support include education, media use and top of mind associations.

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Topics: Attitudes & Beliefs Energy Use / Conservation Risk Communication Risk Perceptions
October 16 2013

Climate Change in the Columbus, Ohioan Mind

Climate Change in the Columbus, Ohioan Mind

Highlights:

  • Most people in Columbus, Ohio, (70%) believe global warming is happening, while only 18% believe it is not.
  • About half (49%) believe that if global warming is happening, it is caused mostly by human activities.
  • Of those who believe global warming is happening, two in three believe it is currently having a large or moderate influence on the severity of heat waves (66%) in Columbus, and half believe it is influencing droughts (51%) and flooding of rivers or lakes (50%).
  • Further, of those in Columbus who believe climate change is happening, large majorities expect to see a myriad of negative effects from it over the next 50 years. About nine in ten anticipate more heat waves (91%), worse storms (88%), or increased allergies, asthma, infectious diseases, or other health problems (88%). At least eight in ten believe the area will experience declining numbers of fish and native wildlife (84%), increased droughts and water shortages (84%), or more power outages (81%).
  • More than half of people in Columbus say that more should be done about global warming at all levels of government—from Congress (61%) and President Obama (57%), to state legislators (57%) and Governor Kasich (56%), to local government officials (57%). However, even larger numbers in Columbus believe that corporations and industry (68%) or citizens themselves (66%) should be doing more to address climate change.
  • However, most people in Columbus see global warming as a relatively distant threat. While 70% believe global warming will harm future generations of people and plant and animal species, only 31% believe it will harm them personally.

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Topics: Attitudes & Beliefs Citizen Behavior Policy Support Risk Perceptions
October 09 2013

Climate Change in the San Franciscan Mind

Climate Change in the San Franciscan Mind

Highlights:

  • The overwhelming majority of San Franciscans (87%) believes global warming is happening, while only 5% believe it is not happening.
  • Two in three (67%) believe that if global warming is happening, it is mostly due to human activities. Moreover, seven in ten (69%) understand there is widespread agreement among scientists that climate change is happening.
  • Of those San Franciscans who believe global warming is happening, most expect a myriad of negative effects over the next 50 years. Nine in ten anticipate more droughts and water shortages (91%), heat waves (89%), or declining numbers of fish and native wildlife (89%). Two in three (66%) expect that parts of the city will have to be abandoned in the next 50 years due to sea level rise.
  • Majorities also say that more should be done about global warming at all levels of government—from Congress (69%) and President Obama (63%), to California state legislators (66%) and Governor Brown (62%), to local government officials (63%). However, even larger numbers of San Franciscans believe that citizens themselves (77%) and corporations and industry (75%) should be doing more to address climate change.
  • Many San Franciscans say that a transition to cleaner energy would be good for the local economy, with six in ten (58%) saying that switching from fossil fuels to clean energy sources would increase local economic growth and the number of jobs.

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Topics: Attitudes & Beliefs Citizen Behavior Policy Support Risk Perceptions
October 02 2013

Anthony Leiserowitz opens the Architectural League of NY’s “5000 Pound Life” event

Find out how Americans think about and value climate change in the 21st century.

 

 

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Topics: Attitudes & Beliefs Citizen Behavior Risk Perceptions Six Americas Values & Religion
October 02 2013

Discussing Climate Change in the American Mind at the Architecture League of NY

On October 2, 2013, YPCCC Director Anthony Leiserowitz sat down with Dale Jamieson, Kate Orff, and Paul Lewis for a panel on "Climate Change and the American Mind" as a part of the Architecture League of New York's "The 5000 Pound Life" event.

 

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Topics: Attitudes & Beliefs Emotion / Affect / Imagery Knowledge / Climate Literacy Outreach Projects Risk Perceptions Six Americas
October 02 2013

Climate Change in the American Mind: Focus on California, Colorado, Ohio and Texas

Climate Change in the American Mind: Focus on California, Colorado, Ohio and Texas

Highlights:

Our recent statewide surveys of Californians, Coloradans, Ohioans, and Texans find that majorities in each state say global warming is happening. This belief is most widespread in California (79%), but seven in ten in Colorado, Ohio, and Texas agree as well (70% in each).

There are also important differences between the states, however. For example:

  • Over half of Californians say that, if global warming is happening, it is caused mostly by human activities (58%). By contrast, only 44% of Texans say global warming is caused mostly by human activities, and 31% say it is caused mostly by natural changes in the environment.
  • Half or more of Californians (55%) and Texans (52%) say they have personally experienced the effects of global warming. Fewer in Colorado (48%) and Ohio (45%) say that they have.
  • A majority of Californians (55%) understands that most scientists think global warming is happening. In the other three states surveyed, however, people are more likely to say that scientists disagree about whether or not global warming is happening.

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Topics: Attitudes & Beliefs Citizen Behavior Consumer Behavior Policy Support Risk Perceptions Vulnerability & Resilience
September 23 2013

Climate Change in the Texan Mind

Climate Change in the Texan Mind

Highlights:

  • Most Texans (70%) believe global warming is happening. Relatively few (14%) believe it is not.
  • Fewer than half (44%) believe that if global warming is happening, it is caused mostly by human activities. Three in ten (31%) believe it is caused mostly by natural changes in the environment.
  • About half of Texans (52%) say they have personally experienced the effects of global warming.
  • Among Texans who believe global warming is happening, large majorities expect to see a myriad of negative effects over the next 50 years. Nearly all anticipate more heat waves (95%) and increased drought and water shortages (92%) in Texas due to global warming. More than eight in ten believe Texas will experience worse storms, hurricanes, or tornadoes (87%), declining numbers of fish and native wildlife (86%), and increased allergies, asthma, infectious diseases, or other health problems (85%) due to global warming.
  • More than half of Texans say that more should be done about global warming at all levels of government—from Congress (62%) and President Obama (57%), to Governor Perry (59%) and Texas’s state legislature (56%), to local government officials (60%).
  • Even larger numbers of Texans believe that citizens themselves (69%) and corporations and industry (68%) should be doing more to address climate change.

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Topics: Attitudes & Beliefs Citizen Behavior Consumer Behavior Policy Support Risk Perceptions Trust
September 18 2013

Climate Change in the Ohioan Mind

Climate Change in the Ohioan Mind

Highlights:

  • Most people in Ohio (70%) believe global warming is happening, while only 16% believe it is not. 
  • Half (49%) believe that if global warming is happening, it is mostly due to human activities.
  • Of those who believe global warming is happening, large majorities say that it is already having an influence on the severity of heat waves (90%), droughts (88%), and flooding of rivers or lakes (87%) in Ohio.
  • Among those who believe climate change is happening, large majorities say that over the next 50 years, climate change will cause more heat waves (89%), worse storms (84%), declining numbers of fish and native wildlife (82%), droughts and water shortages (82%), increased allergies, asthma, infectious diseases, or other health problems (83%), and more power outages (78%) in the state.
  • Solid majorities of Ohioans support government action at all levels of government: Congress (59%), President Obama (54%), Ohio’s state legislature (56%), Governor Kasich (54%), and local government officials (53%).
  • Even more say that corporations and industry (69%) and citizens themselves (65%) should be doing more to address climate change.
  • Ohioans still see global warming as a relatively distant threat. While 70% believe global warming will harm future generations of people and plant and animal species, only 35% believe it will harm them personally.

Please note:  the numbers cited above have been corrected from the original press release distributed Wednesday, September 18th and have been confirmed.

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Topics: Attitudes & Beliefs Citizen Behavior Policy Support Risk Perceptions
September 10 2013

Climate Change in the Californian Mind

Climate Change in the Californian Mind

Highlights:

  • Most Californians (79%) believe global warming is happening, while only 11% believe it is not.  
  • Over half (58%) believe that if global warming is happening, it is mostly due to human activities.
  • A majority (55%) also believes that most scientists think global warming is happening.

Of those who believe global warming is happening, large majorities say that:

  • Global warming is already having an influence on the severity of heat waves (96%), wildfires (91%), and droughts (90%) in California.
  • Over the next 50 years, climate change will cause more heat waves (93%), droughts and water shortages (92%), declining numbers of fish and native wildlife (91%), increased allergies, asthma, infectious diseases, or other health problems (86%), and more power outages (84%) in the state.

The study also found that Californians support more climate action:

  • Six in ten want more action by Governor Brown, the state legislature, and local government officials.
  • Even more say corporations and industry (73%) and citizens themselves (70%) should be doing more to address the issue.

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Topics: Attitudes & Beliefs Citizen Behavior Consumer Behavior Energy Use / Conservation Knowledge / Climate Literacy Policy Support Risk Perceptions Trust
September 04 2013

Climate Change in the Coloradan Mind

Climate Change in the Coloradan Mind

Highlights:

  • Most Coloradans (70%) believe global warming is happening. Relatively few—only 19%— believe it is not.
  • Nearly half (48%) believe global warming is caused mostly by human activities.
  • Coloradans think global warming is important and are worried about it. Three in four (73%) say the issue of global warming is very or somewhat important to them personally. And six in ten (59%) are at least somewhat worried about it.
  • Among those who believe global warming is happening, 70% believe it is currently contributing to increased droughts and decreased snowpack, and 66% believe it is exacerbating wildfires.
  • About half of Coloradans (48%) say they have personally experienced global warming’s effects.
  • More than half of Coloradans say that more should be done about global warming at all levels of government—from President Obama and Congress, to Governor Hickenlooper and the state legislature, to local government officials. However, even larger numbers of Coloradans believe that corporations and industry (67%) and citizens themselves (66%) should be doing more to address climate change.
  • Half of Coloradans (52%) say that switching from fossil fuels to clean energy sources would increase economic growth and the number of jobs

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Topics: Attitudes & Beliefs Citizen Behavior Consumer Behavior Energy Use / Conservation Knowledge / Climate Literacy Policy Support Risk Perceptions Trust
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