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Tracking Public Attitudes -- Latest Polls

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Public opinion in the United States about the need to act on climate change has been consistently strong for years. A large majority of Americans have told pollsters from across the political spectrum that they understand the urgency for climate action, the benefits of acting on the environment and the economy, and the need to pass strong federal legislation to limit carbon emissions. The US Climate Action Network archives those polls and regularly updates this list. Check back frequently.

Recent Findings

Politics and Global Warming, Spring 2014
Polling Data
July 15, 2014
This report is based on findings from a national representative survey of registered voters conducted by the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication and the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication. This report focuses on how Americans (registered voters) across the political spectrum view global warming and how they think citizens should address it. One of the most interesting findings is a clear difference between liberal/moderate Republicans and conservative Republicans.
Small Business Owners' Views on Climate & Energy Policy Reform
Polling Data
June 25, 2014
This is a report on a poll conducted by American Sustainable Business Council on Small Business Owners' Views on Climate & Energy Policy Reform
Key Findings National Medical Association Physician Survey
Polling Data
June 25, 2014
The following report by George Mason Center for Climate Change Communication contains the findings of a survey conducted in two phases in March and May of 2014 among members of the National Medical Association (NMA), the association of African American physicians. The survey was conducted in collaboration with George Mason University. The purpose of the survey was to assess physicians’ experience with the health effects of climate change and their thoughts about how to address this issue.
POLL: Obama Carbon Rule Backed by Most Americans
Polling Data
June 18, 2014
According to a poll by the Wall Street Journal and NBC News, 2/3 of Americans support EPA rules limiting carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants.
POLL: 70% of Americans Think the Federal Government Should Limit the Release of Greenhouse Gases from Existing Power Plants
Polling Data
June 02, 2014
This Washington Post and ABC News Poll was published 6.2.14
Climate Change in the American Mind April 2014
Polling Data
June 01, 2014
The reality of climate change, worldwide and in the United States, is a well-established scientific fact. However, public understanding and acceptance of the human contribution to global warming has fluctuated over the past several years. This report details the April 2014 Yale survey of the American public perception of climate change.
What's in a Name? Global Warming versus Climate Change
Polling Data
May 27, 2014
This report by Yale Project on Climate Change Communication summarizes a bi-annual series of polls on public perceptions of the diction "climate change" versus "global warming."
Americans Support CO2 Limits on Coal-Fired Power Plants
Polling Data
April 25, 2014
This study by the Yale Project on Climate Communication reveals that, by nearly a two to one margin, Americans support setting strict limits on carbon dioxide emissions from existing coal-fired plants, even if the cost of electricity to consumers and companies increases. Most Democrats support setting such limits, a little over half of Republicans oppose it, while Independents are evenly divided.
Americans Favor Energy Conservation Over Production
Polling Data
April 02, 2014
This is a poll by Gallup that reports that "after dwindling in recent years, American's long-standing preference for emphasizing conservation over production in U.S. energy policy has rebounded." Currently 57% of Americans say that the U.S. should emphasize energy conservation to solve the nation's energy problems.
Engaging Diverse Audiences with Climate Change: Message Strategies for Global Warming's Six Americas
Polling Data
March 18, 2014
This resource is a chapter from the book "Routeledge Handbook of Environment and Communication." This chapter describes "Global Warming’s Six Americas," six unique audience segments that view and respond to the issue of climate change in distinct ways. It describes the beliefs and characteristics of each group and discusses methods of effectively communicating with them in light of: (1) the pro- or counter-attitudinal nature of messages on the issue for each group; (2) their willingness to exert the cognitive effort necessary to process information on the issue; (3) their propensity for counter-arguing, motivated reasoning and message distortion; and (4) the communication content they say they most desire and, hence, would be most likely to process and accept.
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