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Risk Perceptions

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
June 11 2013

Anthony Leiserowitz presents Climate Change and the American Mind at the National Center for Atmospheric Research

 

 

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Topics: Attitudes & Beliefs Citizen Behavior Outreach Projects Risk Perceptions Six Americas
May 21 2013

Global Warming’s Six Indias

Global Warming’s Six Indias

A new national study in India finds six distinct groups within the Indian public that respond to the issue of climate change in very different ways. These "Six Indias" include:

  • The Informed (19%)
  • The Experienced (24%)
  • The Undecided (15%)
  • The Unconcerned (15%)
  • The Indifferent (11%)
  • The Disengaged (16%)

 

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Topics: Attitudes & Beliefs Citizen Behavior Consumer Behavior Energy Use / Conservation International Surveys Knowledge / Climate Literacy Policy Support Risk Perceptions Six Americas Trust Values & Religion Vulnerability & Resilience
May 09 2013

Americans’ Global Warming Beliefs and Attitudes in April 2013

Americans’ Global Warming Beliefs and Attitudes in April 2013

Highlights

  • Nearly two in three Americans (63%) believe global warming is happening. Relatively few – only 16 percent – believe it is not. However, since Fall 2012, the percentage of Americans who believe global warming is happening has dropped 7 points to 63%, likely influenced by the relatively cold winter of 2012-13 in the United States and an unusually cold March just before the survey was conducted.
  • Those who believe global warming is happening are more certain of their convictions than those who do not. Of the 63% of Americans who believe global warming is happening, most say they are “very” (33%) or “extremely sure” (27%). By contrast, of the unconvinced, fewer are very (28%) or extremely sure of their view (18%).
  • About half of Americans (49%) believe global warming – if it is happening – is caused mostly by human activities, a decrease of 5 points since Fall 2012, but similar to levels stretching back several years.

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Topics: Attitudes & Beliefs Knowledge / Climate Literacy Risk Perceptions
May 01 2013

Extreme Weather and Climate Change in the American Mind April 2013

Extreme Weather and Climate Change in the American Mind April 2013

Highlights:

  • About six in ten Americans (58%) say “global warming is affecting weather in the United States.”
  • Many Americans believe global warming made recent extreme weather and climatic events “more severe,” specifically: 2012 as the warmest year on record in the United States (50%); the ongoing drought in the Midwest and the Great Plains (49%); Superstorm Sandy (46%); and Superstorm Nemo (42%).
  • About two out of three Americans say weather in the U.S. has been worse over the past several years, up 12 percentage points since Spring 2012. By contrast, fewer Americans say weather has been getting better over the past several years – only one in ten (11%), down 16 points compared to a year ago.

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Topics: Attitudes & Beliefs Risk Perceptions Vulnerability & Resilience
December 16 2012

Global perceptions of local temperature change

It is difficult to detect global warming directly because most people experience changes only in local weather patterns, which are highly variable and may not reflect long-term global climate trends. However, local climate-change experience may play an...

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Topics: International Surveys Policy Support Risk Perceptions
December 02 2012

The relationship between personal experience and belief in the reality of global warming

In this paper, we address the chicken-or-egg question posed by two alternative explanations for the relationship between perceived personal experience of global warming and belief certainty that global warming is happening: Do observable...

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Topics: Attitudes & Beliefs Risk Perceptions
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