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This post includes climate and environment headlines, data points, and key takeaways from recent public polls - including new polling about fossil fuel accountability, publicly owned utilities, and frontline communities’ vulnerability to extreme weather.
Support for fossil fuel accountability spans the political spectrum, as voters widely agree that polluters should pay for their climate damage and pay a tax on their excess profits. More than two-thirds say that expanding clean energy will positively impact the economy. 75% of voters support a tax on the excess profits of oil and gas companies. 70% of voters support making polluters pay for climate damages after learning that some cities and states are suing fossil fuel companies for damage from climate disasters. 63% of voters say that CEOs of oil and gas companies have too much power in America’s political system. By a 71%-20% margin, voters say that they are more likely to vote for a candidate for Congress who will stand up to oil and gas company CEOs (71%) over a candidate who supports oil and gas company CEOs (20%). 68% of voters say that expanding clean energy production in America will have a positive impact on the economy. By a 58%-34% margin, voters believe that the clean energy industry (58%) is likely to create more new jobs over the next several decades than the oil and gas industry (34%).
Join the Rural Climate Partnership for a presentation on how we can use a benefits-forward narrative strategy to connect with rural people. Together, we'll explore 5 narrative keys that allow communicators to reach across cultural differences and avoid culture war frames to connect on shared values.
Black and Hispanic Americans feel particularly vulnerable to extreme weather, reporting less confidence in their local governments and less preparedness in their communities. Wide majorities of all racial and ethnic groups “agree” or “strongly agree” that they have access to reliable warnings and information about potential natural disasters and that they have someone they can call for help in the event of extreme weather. Still, White Americans exceed both Black and Hispanic Americans by about 10 percentage points on each measure. Between 53% and 56% of Black and Hispanic adults agree they could recover and rebuild, have the resources to do so or have taken steps to prepare their household for a natural disaster or extreme weather event. Meanwhile, between 65% and 72% of White Americans agree across these measures -- indicating their greater degree of preparedness and ability to recover.
This post includes climate and environment headlines, data points, and key takeaways from recent public polls - including a new Pew report on Americans’ climate attitudes, a new analysis of pro-climate Republicans, and new polling on President Biden’s investments in clean energy and infrastructure.
Two-thirds of voters say that they would support having a publicly owned utility as their electricity provider; having a say over electricity rates is the biggest perceived benefit. A strong majority of likely voters nationwide (68%) support having a publicly owned utility as their local utility provider. Support holds across party lines, with majority support among Democrats (71%), Independents (66%), and Republicans (67%). A majority of voters (60%) report that their utility bills increased in the last year. When asked, a plurality of voters (39%) want their utility company’s top priority to be lowering prices for consumers. Voters also want their utility to prioritize ensuring reliable service (21%), upgrading aging grid infrastructure (17%), and transitioning to renewable energy (15%).
Climate change has significant impacts on health outcomes, and health professionals are uniquely positioned to leverage their voice as trusted messengers to engage their colleagues, patients, and communities to take action and shift the public conversation on climate and health.
Republicans who worry the most about climate change skew younger, more female, and more suburban than other Republicans. About half of Republicans (52%) are either Alarmed (8%), Concerned (19%), or Cautious (24%) about global warming, among which about 1 in 4 (27%) are either Alarmed or Concerned. Alarmed or Concerned Republicans are more likely than all other Republicans to be Gen Z/Millennial (35% vs. 29% of all other Republicans), female (57% vs. 45%), or live in a suburban area (57% vs. 52%). By contrast, fewer Alarmed or Concerned Republicans are Baby Boomer/Silent Generation (37% vs. 43% of all other Republicans), male (43% vs. 55%), or live in a rural area (29% vs. 34%).
Americans widely agree that climate change is harming people in the U.S. today and expect climate impacts to get worse in the future. Most trust that climate scientists understand the problem, despite doubts among Republicans. 75% of Americans recognize that human activity is contributing at least “some” to climate change. 71% of Americans agree that climate change is causing at least “some” harm to people in the U.S. today. 56% of Americans rate climate change as an “extremely” or “very” serious problem. 65% of Americans believe that climate scientists understand how climate change affects extreme weather events “very” or “fairly” well. 63% of Americans believe that climate scientists understand the causes of climate change “very” or “fairly” well.