This post includes climate and environment headlines, data points, and key takeaways from recent public polls - including new polling on conservative groups' environmental ideas, extreme weather, messaging about climate justice, and western voters' conservation preferences.
Climate Power + Data for Progress
Voters overwhelmingly want to protect the climate, clean energy, and environmental justice policies that conservative groups' “Project 2025” plan calls to cut [Article, Crosstabs]
Washington Post + UMD
Nearly three-quarters of Americans say that they have been affected by “extremely hot days” in recent years; Americans are most likely to say that climate change is a factor in hot and dry weather events like extreme heat, droughts, and wildfires [Article, Topline]
We Make the Future
Americans tend to agree that communities of color bear too many of the impacts of climate change, but aren’t sure why this is the case; messaging about climate justice is most effective when it identifies clear villains such as fossil fuel corporations and their CEOs [Full Deck, Messaging Guide, Focus Group Memo]
[West] Center for Western Priorities
Western voters are deeply concerned about corporate interests harming Western lands and support a range of conservation solutions, including creating and protecting national monuments and doing more to regulate oil and gas operations on public lands [Website, Deck, Topline]
Narratives about climate justice are most persuasive when they identify clear villains and positive goals. These are some of the key findings from a recent multi-phase research project led by We Make the Future. In a national survey, they find that Americans generally recognize that communities of color bear too much of the impact of climate change but aren’t sure who to blame for this disparity. Accordingly, messaging that names clear villains - including fossil fuel companies and their CEOs - tends to be more persuasive. Additionally, this research finds that focusing on positive, shared goals like clean air and water helps to increase the resonance of messaging on climate justice.
To counter “Project 2025,” advocates’ messaging should focus on maintaining and protecting progress that we’ve achieved - including protections for public lands and the benefits of the clean energy boom. Climate Power and Data for Progress find that voters widely reject the anti-environmental policies in conservative groups’ “Project 2025” plan for the next presidential administration. Their polling finds that voters particularly want to maintain protections in place for national parks and monuments, prioritize environmental justice and public health in disadvantaged communities, and protect clean energy investments that are saving consumers money and producing a boom in manufacturing jobs.
Hot and dry extreme weather events continue to be the most salient consequences of climate change. A recent Washington Post/UMD poll finds that Americans are much more likely to report experience with extreme heat than other types of extreme weather. Additionally, they find that hot, dry weather events such as extreme heat, droughts, and wildfires have the most intuitive connections to climate change and also draw relatively more concern than other types of climate-fueled weather events.
GOOD DATA POINTS TO HIGHLIGHT
[Climate Change] 74% of Americans agree that human activity is causing the climate to change, including the majority of Republicans [Washington Post/UMD]
[Project 2025 / Conservation] 75% of voters say that the next president should keep current protections in place for national parks and monuments, preserving these and other public lands from oil and gas drilling [Climate Power + Data for Progress]
[Project 2025 / Justice] 69% of voters say that the next president should prioritize environmental justice and take action to clean up pollution and improve public health in disadvantaged communities [Climate Power + Data for Progress]
[Project 2025 / Clean Energy] 66% of voters say that the next president should protect the consumer tax credits and instant rebates that were included in the recently passed clean energy plan and which can lower energy costs for families by $1,800 [Climate Power + Data for Progress]
[Issue Priority] More Americans name climate change and the environment as the single “most important issue” to them than any other issue aside from inflation/prices [The Economist + YouGov]
[Western States] 87% of Western voters say that it’s important to them that a candidate supports conservation of public lands when deciding who to vote for in an election [Center for Western Priorities]
[Western States] 74% of Western voters say that they would feel more favorably about President Biden and his administration if they did more to focus efforts to protect and conserve public lands, parks, wildlife, and monuments [Center for Western Priorities]
[Western States] 71% of Western voters say that they are more likely to vote for someone who prioritizes protecting public lands from being taken over by private developers and oil and mining corporations [Center for Western Priorities]
[Western States] 70% of Western voters say that the government should do more to create and protect national monuments on public land that has significant historical, scenic, or scientific value for the future [Center for Western Priorities]