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Yale Project on Climate Change Communication

Climate Change in the American Mind Survey Question Wording

Model estimates in the maps were derived from public responses to the following survey questions. The response categories for many questions were collapsed into a single variable for mapping. For example, for the question measuring how worried respondents are about global warming, “very worried” and “somewhat worried” were combined into a single measure of “worried.” Likewise “Not very worried” and “Not at all worried” were combined into a single measure of “not worried.” The responses below are color coded to indicate how they were grouped into the variables shown on the maps.

Individuals who responded “Don’t know” or who did not answer the question were not modeled separately and appear as gray segments within the bar charts.

Beliefs

Global warming is happening
Recently, you may have noticed that global warming has been getting some attention in the news. Global warming refers to the idea that the world’s average temperature has been increasing over the past 150 years, may be increasing more in the future, and that the world’s climate may change as a result.
What do you think: Do you think that global warming is happening?

  • Yes
  • No
  • Don’t know


Global warming is caused mostly by human activities
Assuming global warming is happening, do you think it is… ?

  • Caused mostly by human activities
  • Caused mostly by natural changes in the environment
  • Other
  • None of the above because global warming isn’t happening


Most scientists think global warming is happening
Which comes closest to your own view?

  • Most scientists think global warming is happening
  • There is a lot of disagreement among scientists about whether or not global warming is happening
  • Most scientists think global warming is not happening
  • Don’t know enough to say

Risk Perceptions

Worried about global warming
How worried are you about global warming?

  • Very worried
  • Somewhat worried
  • Not very worried
  • Not at all worried

Global warming is already harming people in the US
When do you think global warming will start to harm people in the United States?

  • They are being harmed right now
  • In 10 years
  • In 25 years
  • In 50 years
  • In 100 years
  • Never


Global warming will harm me personally
How much do you think global warming will harm you personally?

  • Not at all
  • Only a little
  • A moderate amount
  • A great deal
  • Don’t know

Global warming will harm people in the US
How much do you think global warming will harm people in the United States?

  • Not at all
  • Only a little
  • A moderate amount
  • A great deal
  • Don’t know


Global warming will harm people in developing countries
How much do you think global warming will harm people in developing countries?

  • Not at all
  • Only a little
  • A moderate amount
  • A great deal
  • Don’t know

Global warming will harm future generations
How much do you think global warming will harm future generations of people?

  • Not at all
  • Only a little
  • A moderate amount
  • A great deal
  • Don’t know

Policy Support

Fund research into renewable energy sources
How much do you support or oppose the following policies?
Fund more research into renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind power
  • Strongly support
  • Somewhat support
  • Somewhat oppose
  • Strongly oppose


Regulate CO2 as a pollutant
How much do you support or oppose the following policies?
Regulate carbon dioxide (the primary greenhouse gas) as a pollutant

  • Strongly support
  • Somewhat support
  • Somewhat oppose
  • Strongly oppose


Set strict CO2 limits on existing coal-fire power plants
How much do you support or oppose the following policy?
Set strict carbon dioxide emission limits on existing coal-fired power plants to reduce global warming and improve public health. Power plants would have to reduce their emissions and/or invest in renewable energy and energy efficiency. The cost of electricity to consumers and companies would likely increase.

  • Strongly support
  • Somewhat support
  • Somewhat oppose
  • Strongly oppose

Require utilities to produce 20% electricity from renewable sources
How much do you support or oppose the following policies?
Require electric utilities to produce at least 20% of their electricity from wind, solar, or other renewable energy sources, even if it costs the average household an extra $100 a year

  • Strongly support
  • Somewhat support
  • Somewhat oppose
  • Strongly oppose

A carbon tax if refunded to every American household
Some people say that Congress should enact a “revenue neutral tax swap” that would reduce the annual taxes paid by all Americans, while increasing the amount they pay annually for energy (such as gasoline and electricity) by the same total amount. How likely would you be support or oppose the proposal if the money raised from the carbon tax was used to give a tax refund to every American household?

  • Strongly support
  • Somewhat support
  • Somewhat oppose
  • Strongly oppose
  • Don’t know