Corporations Are Concerned About Climate Change As Well
Its not just the average American who recognizes the dangers of climate change.;Moodys Analytics estimates that damage from climate change could cost the country between $54 trillion and $69 trillion, joining European companies wary of insuring those contributing to climate change. And its not just crop damage and severe weather that corporations are worried about. The consequences for human health, personal property and public infrastructure will be significantly disrupted unless reforms are taken.
Insurance companies arent the only ones actively sounding the alarm on climate change.;Last year,;Forbes;published Simon Mainwarings column about why businesses need to take on climate change, and how they can do so.
Figure 20 Proportion Of Each Group Who Believed The Worlds Temperature Will Probably Go Up Over The Next 100 Years
Future warming. Since 1997, majorities of Democrats, Republicans, and Independents have believed that the earth will probably be warmer in a century if nothing is done to prevent it. In 2020, 94% of Democrats, 72% of Independents, and 56% of Republicans believe that warming will probably continue in the future. No notable growth has occurred in the partisan gap since 2011.
5°F warmer would be bad. Majorities of Democrats and of Independents have consistently believed that 5°F of global warming would be bad, but the proportion of Republicans expressing that belief has hovered around the midline, peaking at 59% in 1997 and dipping to its lowest points of 47% in 2010 and 2015. The partisan gap in 2020 is the biggest observed since 1997 at 34 percentage points.
Preparing For Environmental Change In Indiana: The Hoosier Life Survey
Environmental changes such as extreme weather events, rising temperatures, floods, or droughts affect people across the globe. But whatever their source and however great their extent, these conditions also touch us at local levelsaround the house, across our community, on the farm, and throughout the state where we live. The global challenge of environmental change is an Indiana challenge, too.
What is the Hoosier Life Survey?
The Hoosier Life Survey is the nations most comprehensive statewide public-opinion survey of environmental change to date. The HLS addresses how environmental changesparticularly extreme weather eventsare perceived, how they affect people in their homes and towns, what Hoosiers are doing about it, and what they expect for the future. This research, sponsored by Indiana Universitys Environmental Resilience Institute , was funded by IUs Prepared for Environmental Change Grand Challenge initiative.
Between August and December 2019, ERI reached out to 10,000 adult Hoosiers across Indianafrom Chicagos suburbs to Cincinnatis metropolitan fringe, from the Grand Chain of the Wabash to the shore of northern Indianas historic Limberlost Swamp. In total, 2,739 Hoosiersrepresenting 90 of the states 92 countiesresponded. Thanks to their participation, ERI can now offer scientists, public officials, and the general public new insight into how climate change affects Hoosiers in their everyday lives.
What does the HLS tell us?
AMONG OUR KEY FINDINGS:
Figure 22 Proportion Of Each Group Who Thought Global Warming Will Be A Very Or Somewhat Serious Problem For The United States
Serious problem for the United States. Majorities of Democrats, Republicans, and Independents have consistently believed that global warming will be a very or somewhat serious problem for the United States in the future. In 2020, nearly all Democrats surveyed believe that global warming will be a serious problem for the United States, while 54% of Republicans, and 79% of Independents believe the same. The partisan gap is now 44 percentage points.
Serious problem for the world. Majorities of Democrats, Republicans, and Independents have consistently believed that global warming will be a very or somewhat serious problem for the world in the future. In 2020, 97% of Democrats, 60% of Republicans, and 81% of Independents hold this view, with a partisan gap of 37 percentage points .
Senator John Barrasso Republican Of Wyoming
Recently re-elected as chairman of GOP policy committee
Barrasso, a medical doctor who graduated from Georgetown and Yale, runs the committee in charge of summarizing and analyzing major GOP legislation. Last week he called the recently announced US-China deal irresponsible and expensive.
To me, this is an agreement thats terrible for the United States and terrific for the Chinese government and for the politicians there, because it allows China to continue to raise their emissions over the next 16 years, Barrasso said.
All of us want to make energy as clean as we can as fast as we can, he said. We want to do it in ways that dont raise the energy costs for American families and impact their jobs, income, ability to provide for their families. Those are the issues we need to be focusing on.
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Majorities Of Us Adults Say Federal Government Is Not Doing Enough On The Environment
Majorities of Americans continue to say the federal government is doing too little to protect key aspects of the environment. About two-thirds of Americans say the federal government is doing too little to protect water quality of rivers, lakes and streams , protect air quality and reduce the effects of climate change . About six-in-ten think the federal government is doing too little to protect animals and their habitats , and a slightly smaller majority say the federal government is doing too little to protect open lands in national parks .
These findings come amid a changing federal regulatory landscape. The Trump administration is reversing or seeking to change more than 100 rules and regulations related to carbon dioxide emissions, clean air, water or toxic chemicals.
Public views on how much the federal government is doing to protect key aspects of the environment are virtually unchanged in the last two years. In Pew Research Center surveys in both 2018 and 2019, about two-thirds of Americans said the federal government was doing too little to protect air or water quality or reduce the effects of climate change.
Over the past several years, Americans have become significantly more likely to say protecting the environment and addressing climate change should be top priorities for the president and Congress, according to a 2020 Pew Research Center survey.
Among Democrats, there are hardly any gaps in views on these questions by generation or gender. .
Americans See Local Impacts From Climate Change But That View Is Colored More By Politics Than Place
A majority of Americans say that climate change is affecting their local community a great deal or some. Fewer say climate change is impacting their own community not too much or not at all. The share who see at least some local impact from climate change is about the same as it was last fall .
Views of the local impact of climate change are largely similar among Americans who live in different regions of the county. In fact, an identical 64% of those who live in the Northeast, South and West say climate change is affecting their community a great deal or some. Those who live in the Midwest are slightly less likely to say this .
Partisanship is a far larger factor in views of the local impact of climate change. A large majority of Democrats say climate change is affecting their local community a great deal or some. By contrast, far fewer Republicans believe climate change is affecting their local community at least some; most Republicans say climate change is impacting their local community not too much or at all.
Among Republicans and Republican leaners, moderates and liberals are much more likely than conservatives to say climate change is impacting their community a great deal or some. Among Democrats and Democratic leaners, large shares of both liberals and conservative and moderates see local impacts from climate change.
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In 2020 91% Of Democrats 73% Of Republicans And 82% Of Independents Favor Federal Government Efforts To Generate More Electricity Using Water Wind And Solar Power Reflecting A Partisan Gap Of 18 Percentage Points
Increase CAFE Standards. Majorities of Democrats, Republicans, and Independents have consistently favored federal government efforts to cause improvement in the fuel efficiency of cars. In 2020, 86% of Democrats, 52% of Republicans, and 70% of Independents favor this policy option, with a partisan gap of 34 percentage points .
Know That Experience Is The Best Teacher
Unfortunately, for a lot of people, statistics and information are not the teacher that experience is â and experience is coming. While bafflingly many Americans believe they won’t feel the effects of climate change, the planet has other ideas, with extreme weather plaguing all parts of the country. “Experience is a particularly effective teacher, often a harsh teacher, and we’re all being taught about climate change,” Inglis says.
He told a story about speaking at a women’s club in South Carolina where several people expressed to him concern about water levels pushing closer to their homes. While he was speaking with them, a person started peppering him with the familiar questions that come from a climate skeptic. “I could see the gentle eye rolls from the women,” he says, “They were thinking, ‘The water is coming up to our house.'”
Those messages are coming through more loud and clear than ever before. “Sadly, our job is getting easier,” Inglis says. The experience is going to keep coming. Now it is simply a matter of making sure that we take action to make sure those experiences aren’t permanent.
Figure 24 Proportion Of Each Group Who Thought The Us Government Should Do More About Global Warming
The US government should do more to deal with global warming. Since 1997, majorities of Democrats and Independents have consistently believed that the federal government should do more about global warming. In 2020, 92% of Democrats, 64% of Independents, and 38% of Republicans favor more federal action. The partisan gap is 54 percentage points in 2020.
Governments in other countries should do more to deal with global warming. Since 1997, majorities of Democrats, Republicans, and Independents have believed that governments in other countries should do more about global warming. In 2020, 87% of Democrats, 54% of Republicans, and 67% of Independents believe this, with a partisan gap of 33 percentage points.
Climate Change Critics Lack A Consistent Message
Those who have criticized climate change are all over the place. You have those who say were going through global cooling, or that theres nothing going on different with the weather at all, or that any changes occurring are natural, not human-made, or its the fault of other countries.
With such an inconsistent message, its no wonder that the AP-NORC poll showed only nine percent of Americans are climate deniers. While 19 percent say they are unsure, the remaining 70+ percent not only recognize the climate is changing, but most of them also trust the science that says human activity is contributing greatly to this. If climate change becomes an election issue in 2020, it doesnt look so good for the GOP and Donald Trump.
Capitalizing On Consensus Fighting Misperceptions
Even in a state as conservative as Indiana, belief that climate change is occurring and support for action to curb it are now mainstream.
Our survey did not ask more controversial questions, such as whether humans had a role in causing climate change or how to reduce emissions. While I expect that many in the state remain divided on these issues, I still find my results encouraging.
Perhaps one sign of quietly changing attitudes in Indiana is South Bend Mayor and presidential candidate Pete Buttigiegs rise in national polls, due in part to his climate change agenda, which Buttigieg has linked to broader action to revive rural America.
Addressing climate change will require major societal changes, which in turn will require overcoming barriers that discourage or prevent collective action. Hoosiers underestimation of local consensus on climate change is likely one such barrier in Indiana.
Our respondents are not alone in misperceiving how many of their peers hold supportive attitudes. Many people nationwide underestimate consensus on this issue. One way to overcome this tendency may be to focus on communicating the commonness or the growing belief in climate change.
Figure 6 Party Breakdown Of Trust In Scientists
87% of Democrats and 56% of Republicans trust climate scientists at least a moderate amount, and 84% of Democrats and 55% of Republicans believe that a majority of climate scientists believe that global warming has been happening.
Party identifiers also diverge on what psychologists call “attitude strength” . Among Democrats, 82% are extremely or very sure of their opinions about whether the earth has been warming over the past 100 years, whereas only 40% of Republicans express that high level of certainty.
Likewise, 78% of Democrats expressed high certainty about whether the worlds temperature will go up over the next 100 years if nothing is done to address it, whereas only 41% of Republicans express high certainty about their opinions on this question.
Similarly, 76% of Democrats said that their opinions about global warming are extremely or very strong, whereas only 30% of Republicans said they hold such strong opinions on the issue.
The partisans are more similar when it comes to how much they believe they know about global warming82% of Democrats and 67% of Republicans believe they know at least a moderate amount about the issue.
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How Climate Change Was Defined In This Analysis
As the deadly impacts of climate change become increasingly obvious, the fossil fuel industry has had to develop more sophisticated talking points for denying climate change and promoting misinformation. CAPs definition of climate denier attempts to capture this shifting reality under a definition that considers the below factors:
Grist Is The Only Nonprofit Newsroom Focused On Exploring Solutions At The Intersection Of Climate And Justice
Our team of journalists remains dedicated to telling stories of climate, justice, and solutions. We aim to inspire more people to talk about climate change and to believe that meaningful change is not only possible but happening right now.;Our in-depth approach to solutions-based journalism takes time and proactive planning, which is why Grist depends on reader support.;Consider becoming a Grist member today by making a monthly contribution to ensure this important work continues and thrives.
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Majority Of All Voters Say Climate Change Is Real; More Democrats Consider It A Problem
One of the issues at the center of the 2020 election is climate change. A recent survey by the Weidenbaum Center at Washington University in St. Louis found that a majority of voters 95% of Democrats and 54% of Republicans recognize evidence for climate change. But partisans differ in how serious they view the issue, what they believe is causing global warming and their support for policies to address the problem.
The survey provides perspective on the challenges environmentalists face in building public support for stronger policies to address climate change support that can then pressure candidates and elected officials to adopt favorable policy positions, according to Steven Smith, the; Kate M. Gregg Distinguished Professor of Social Science in Arts & Sciences.
The results of the American Social Survey mirror a similar survey conducted in before the presidential primaries.
Among the 43% of Trump supporters who deny that there is solid evidence for climate change, a majority endorsed the statement the advocates of global warming are deliberately misleading us for their own political reasons, rather than the statement that the scientific evidence is incomplete or misleading.
That adds up to about one-fifth of Trump supporters who are deniers and blame what they see as deliberately misleading environmentalists, Smith said.
Climate change policies
Not surprisingly, Biden and Trump supporters differ in their support for a range of policy proposals:
Most Americans Favor Expanding Renewable Energy Sources But Divides Remain Over Expanding Offshore Drilling Nuclear Power
Most Americans favor expanding solar power or wind power , including strong majorities of both Republicans and Democrats. The public, however, is evenly divided over whether to expand nuclear power . Fewer than half of Americans support more offshore oil and gas drilling , hydraulic fracturing for oil and natural gas, known as âfrackingâ or coal mining .
These findings are broadly in line with previous Center surveys, which found strong majorities in favor of increasing solar or wind power and more mixed views about expanding other energy sources. Support for more nuclear power plants has inched up 6 percentage points since 2016 . Support for coal mining has declined from 41% to 35% in the same period.
Sizable majorities of both Republicans and Democrats â including those who lean to each party â favor more solar panel farms or wind turbine farms . More Republicans than Democrats support expanding nuclear power plants; support for nuclear power is stronger among conservative Republicans than among moderate or liberal Republicans .
Conservative Republicans also stand out as more inclined to support expansion of hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas as well as coal mining . By comparison, fewer than half of moderate or liberal Republicans favor expanding these energy sources .
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