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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

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.
Gallup Polls on American Perspectives of Climate Change
Polling Data
March 17, 2014
This webpage contains a series of surveys by Gallup concerning American's perceptions and knowledge (or lack thereof) of climate change.
Climate Change and Clean Energy: A Survey of US Public Attitudes (Presentation)
Polling Data
March 11, 2014
A recent poll by Resources for the Future (RFF), Stanford University, and USA Today revealed American’s attitudes on climate change and issues such as clean energy, power plant emissions, and energy subsidies, to name a few. On March 11, 2014, RFF presented results from the survey and provide an in-depth discussion on what this could mean for climate policy in the United States. This event offered information on American’s views as a whole and also explained how these issues are viewed on a state-by-state basis.
Surveying American Attitudes toward Climate Change and Clean Energy
Polling Data
March 11, 2014
Resources for the Future (RFF) has teamed up with Stanford University and USA Today to conduct an in-depth survey of American perceptions of climate change and energy policies. Completed in December 2013, the poll asked respondents a range of questions, including the following: 1) Is climate change happening? 2) Are humans causing climate change? 3)What should the federal government do about it?
New Poll Shows Michigan Small Businesses Hit Hard by Extreme Weather, Nearly 1 in 5 Have Laid Off Workers
Polling Data
February 27, 2014
A scientific opinion poll released by Small Business Majority shows that Michigan small employers have experienced a significant financial impact due to extreme weather, with more than four in 10 temporarily shutting their doors and nearly 1 in 5 having to lay off workers.
Poll Shows Michiganders Overwhelmingly Want More Clean Energy
Polling Data
February 19, 2014
A new poll conducted by EPIC-MRA found that there is strong, continuing support from Michiganders for increasing the state’s clean energy use and moving away from our dependence on coal.
Public Support for Climate and Energy Policies in November 2013
Polling Data
November 19, 2013
This report by George Mason University, Center for Climate Change Communication, summarizes polling of public support for climate and energy policies in the United States. Findings include that most Americans (83%) say the U.S. should make an effort to reduce global warming, even if it has economic costs.
Survey Analysis Contradicts Common Climate Perceptions
Polling Data
November 13, 2013
It’s easy to assume people in “red” and “blue” states have very different ideologies regarding climate change. However, an analysis of surveys measuring Americans’ opinions about global warming-related issues, by Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, tells a different story. Findings include that the majority of people in every state polled wants limits on greenhouse gas emissions, and believes that the U.S. should take action on global warming, according to data from 21 surveys.
Stanford University Public Opinion Surveys on Global Warming (2013): Should Government Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Power Plants?
Polling Data
November 13, 2013
This resource visually reveals results of a public opinion survey conducted by Standford University on whether the government should act to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from power plants by imposing regulations or offering tax breaks. Results are revealed in percentages of Americans who agree that the government should act, with data represented on a state-by-state basis. Numbers range from a high of 90% agreeing in New Hampshire to a low of 62% agreeing in Utah.
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