Climate Change Update: Public Awareness Grows
The last two years of extreme weather events, from historic wildfires in the west to severe hurricanes and flooding in the east, have boosted public confidence that climate change is real.
Two recent national polls find that strong majorities of Americans now believe that climate change is happening, that it is largely caused by human actions rather than natural causes, and that it is a serious problem. The trends in public understanding appear to be influenced by awareness of ongoing severe weather patterns, including direct experience with the fires, floods, and storms.
A Yale University survey included strong findings confirming those trends, as well as public understanding that action to address the changes is both possible and important.
A separate University of Chicago/Associated Press poll confirms similar findings, and includes additional details about what action steps to control climate change receive the most public support.
Taken together, these polls should provide encouragement for environmental advocates. There is broadening public support for at least some meaningful actions to address the climate change crisis.
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