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June 29 2015

Hurricane Attitudes of Coastal Connecticut Residents: A Segmentation Analysis

Hurricane Attitudes of Coastal Connecticut Residents: A Segmentation Analysis

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.

 

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Topics: Audiences Climate Impacts Citizen Behavior Risk Perceptions Vulnerability & Resilience Format Reports Tags Risk Surveys Weather Topics Audiences Behaviors & Actions Climate Impacts
March 25 2015

Hurricane Perceptions of Coastal CT Residents

Hurricane Perceptions of Coastal CT Residents

Today we are pleased to release a new report: Hurricane Perceptions of Coastal Connecticut Residents. The report describes public attitudes and behaviors towards past and future hurricanes and tropical storms, based on a representative survey of 1,130 households along the Connecticut coast.

We find that most Connecticut (CT) coastal residents are ill-prepared for the significant safety and economic threats posed by severe coastal storms. Highlights include:

  • Only 21% of coastal CT residents in Zone A say they would evacuate in the event of a Category 2 hurricane if they did NOT receive an official notice; about six in ten (58%) say they would evacuate if advised to by an official.
  • About one third (34%) of coastal CT residents believe it would be safer to stay at home during a Category 2 hurricane; slightly less (31%) believe it would be safer to evacuate, and a final third (35%) say it’s about 50/50.
  • Coastal CT residents generally underestimate storm impacts: about half (52%) say damage from past storms was more than they had expected, whereas 19% say past damage was less than they had expected.

Co-author Anthony Leiserowitz appeared in this T.V. newscast about the study with dramatic footage of the CT coastline during a storm surge.

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Topics: Citizen Behavior Risk Perceptions Vulnerability & Resilience Format Reports Tags Risk Surveys Weather Topics Behaviors & Actions Climate Impacts
March 16 2015

Global Warming’s Six Americas’ Perceptions of the Health Risks

Global Warming’s Six Americas’ Perceptions of the Health Risks

We are pleased to announce the release of a new report, "Global Warming’s Six Americas, October 2014: Perceptions of the Health Consequences of Global Warming and Update on Key Beliefs."

This report is the seventh we have issued on the Six Americas – six segments within the American public that are characterized by distinct patterns of global warming beliefs, attitudes, policy preferences, and behaviors: the Alarmed (13%), Concerned (31%), Cautious (23%), Disengaged (7%), Doubtful (13%), and Dismissive (13%). 

The report then focuses on how each of the Six Americas understands the human health consequences of global warming as identified in the U.S. National Climate Assessment. We find that even the segments most concerned about global warming have little understanding of the current or future impacts on human health. This limited awareness strongly indicates the need for more public education about how global warming will affect human health.

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Topics: Health Six Americas Vulnerability & Resilience Format Reports Projects Climate Change in the American Mind Tags Health Six Americas Topics Audiences Climate Impacts
December 15 2014

Public Perceptions of the Health Consequences of Global Warming

Public Perceptions of the Health Consequences of Global Warming

A new report, Public Perceptions of the Health Consequences of Global Warming, analyzing results from our national survey conducted in October 2014, finds that Americans are generally unaware of the potential health consequences of global warming. When asked what global warming-related health problems, if any, Americans are experiencing, only about one in four respondents (27%) named at least one health problem known to be related to global warming.
 

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Topics: Attitudes & Beliefs Health Risk Perceptions Vulnerability & Resilience Format Reports Projects Climate Change in the American Mind Tags Health Risk Vulnerability Topics Beliefs & Attitudes Climate Impacts
September 26 2014

Uncovering the Truth about Global Warming’s Health Impacts at the People’s Climate March

Participants in the People’s Climate March in New York City on September 21st each came with a message.  Looking across the endless river of people and signs flowing through Manhattan it was hard to absorb the vast variety of communication on display.                                                                                                                         Noticeable though was one young man in a lab coat clutching a placard, “Climate Change is a Health Crisis.” The sign conveys a serious consequence of global warming that few Americans currently understand.

In June, we reported that Americans have not yet connected the dots between global warming and impacts on health.   When we asked Americans in our national survey for their best estimate of the impact on human health worldwide—now and 50 years into the future—the majority of respondents said, “I don’t know.” Only 18% to 32% of Americans said correctly that each year worldwide, thousands will die or millions will become ill, or be injured by global warming.

This understanding does not match up with scientific consensus about the severe impacts of global warming on public health.

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Topics: Health Knowledge / Climate Literacy Vulnerability & Resilience Format Climate Notes Projects Outreach Tags Health Knowledge Topics Climate Impacts
June 09 2014

Global Warming’s Human Health Impacts Poorly Understood by Americans

Global Warming’s Human Health Impacts Poorly Understood by Americans

In our spring 2014 national survey, we asked Americans to give us their best estimates of the impacts of global warming on human health worldwide – currently and 50 years from now. The largest proportion of respondents (38% to 42%) simply said, “I don’t know.” The next largest proportion (27% to 39%) said either “no one” or “hundreds” of people worldwide will die, be made ill or injured by global warming each year, either now or 50 years from now.

Only 18% to 32% of Americans said, correctly, that each year either “thousands” or “millions” of people worldwide will die, be made ill or injured by global warming, either now or 50 years from now.

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Topics: Health Risk Perceptions Vulnerability & Resilience Format Climate Notes Projects Climate Change in the American Mind Tags Health Risk Topics Climate Impacts
May 12 2014

Climate Stability As Understood by Global Warming’s Six Americas

Global Warming's Six Americas have very different ideas about how the climate system works:

Climate Stability as Understood by the Six Americas

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Topics: Attitudes & Beliefs Knowledge / Climate Literacy Risk Perceptions Six Americas Vulnerability & Resilience Format Climate Notes Projects Climate Change in the American Mind Tags Knowledge Risk Six Americas Vulnerability Topics Audiences Beliefs & Attitudes Climate Impacts
May 10 2014

Anthony Leiserowitz on NPR’s Science Friday

On Friday May 9, 2014, YPCCC Director Anthony Leiserowitz was a guest on NPR's Science Friday, in the week of the release of the 2014 U.S. National Climate Assessment, to discuss Americans' responses to climate change.  Other guests were Bill Nye (the Science Guy) and Sheril Kirshenbaum, Director of the Energy Poll at the University of Texas.  Listen to the segment here.

 
Glacier Bay in Alaska. Photo by Meredith P./flickr/CC BY-ND 2.0
 
 

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Topics: Attitudes & Beliefs Knowledge / Climate Literacy Media Outreach Projects Policy Support Risk Perceptions Values & Religion Vulnerability & Resilience Blog Post Projects Outreach Tags Knowledge Risk Values / Religion Vulnerability Topics Beliefs & Attitudes Climate Impacts Politics & Policy Support
April 24 2014

How Stable is Earth’s Climate?

Americans have very different mental models of the stability of the climate system. In a nationally representative study, we examined Americans’ understanding of how the climate system works. Survey respondents were presented with the following question:

“People disagree about how the climate system works. The five pictures below illustrate five different perspectives. Each picture depicts the Earth’s climate system as a ball balanced on a line, yet each one has a different ability to withstand human-caused global warming. Which one of the five pictures best represents your understanding of how the climate system works?”

Fragile: Earth's climate is delicately balanced. Small amounts of global warming will have abrupt and catastrophic effects.

Threshold: Earth's climate is stable within certain limits. If global warming is small, climate will return to a stable balance; if it is large, there will be dangerous effects.

Gradual: Earth's climate is gradual to change. Global warming will gradually lead to dangerous effects.

Random: Earth's climate is random and unpredictable. We do not know what will happen.

Stable: Earth's climate system is very stable. Global warming will have little or no effects.

Most respondents chose the Threshold model (34%), followed by the Gradual (24%), Random (21%), Fragile (11%) and Stable (10%) models. Scientifically, at different temporal or spatial scales the climate system can exhibit each of these behaviors, but the best overall answer is the threshold model.

 

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Topics: Knowledge / Climate Literacy Risk Perceptions Vulnerability & Resilience Format Climate Notes Tags Knowledge Risk Vulnerability Topics Climate Impacts
January 23 2014

Extreme Weather and Climate Change in the American Mind in November 2013

Extreme Weather and Climate Change in the American Mind in November 2013

Highlights:

  • Compared to the record-setting extreme weather disaster years of 2011 and 2012, the year 2013 in the United States was relatively calm, with no land-falling hurricanes, fewer tornadoes, and drought relief in the Great Plains. In turn, fewer Americans say they experienced an extreme weather event last year. People in the Northeast, Midwest, and South, however, were more likely to report experiencing extreme cold or a snowstorm in 2013 than they did in 2012.
  • Over half of Americans (56%) say “global warming is affecting weather in the United States.”
  • A large majority of Americans say their state and local government should make it a priority to protect public water supplies (78%), transportation/roads/bridges (73%), people’s health (72%), the electricity system (71%), agriculture (70%), and public sewer systems (69%) from extreme weather over the next 10 years.

 

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Topics: Attitudes & Beliefs Citizen Behavior Knowledge / Climate Literacy Risk Perceptions Vulnerability & Resilience Format Reports Projects Climate Change in the American Mind Tags Knowledge Risk Surveys Vulnerability Topics Behaviors & Actions Beliefs & Attitudes Climate Impacts
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