In 1997, 42% of respondents said they knew at least a moderate amount about the issue, and that figure rose to an all-time high of 75% in 2020. Public Concern over Global Warming Correlates Negatively with National Wealth. Get this delivered to your inbox, and more info about our products and services. The sun sets behind the Statue of Liberty as it is partially obscured by heat waves from the exhaust of a passing ferry on May 31, 2020 in New York City.
The Publics’ Concern for Global Warming: A Cross-national Study of 47 Countries. [doi: 10.1016/j.jenvp.2018.08.012], Kvaloy, Berit, Henning Finseraas, and Ola Listhaug. For most policy issues, there is a small group of people known as the “issue public” who consider the matter to be of great personal importance (Krosnick 1990). Climate Change: The Facts 2020 is the definitive guide to the latest international research and analysis on climate change science and policy. For all groups, more respondents expect at least a moderate amount of action than in 1997. [doi:10.1142/S2010007811000292]. Twenty experts in their field from across five countries have written original contributions on the key issues of scientific, political, and public debate about climate change. In 2015, Dutch social psychologist Sander van der Linden and his colleagues proposed this model, stating that Americans are more likely to accept climate change science if they are convinced that there is a high scientific consensus among climate researchers. Government Role Paying for Disaster Insurance, Taxpayer Role Paying for Preventing Fire Damage, Taxpayer Role Paying for Preventing Flood Damage, Perception of Scientific Views on Climate Change, Perception of Scientific Views on Human Role on Climate Change. That this percentage is so high is indicative of bipartisan support, as the fraction of Americans who are Republicans is higher than 20%. This Climate Insights report is accompanied by an interactive data tool, which can be used to view specific data from the survey: ABC News, Stanford University, and Resources for the Future. PLoS One 10(2). This uncertainty is often perceived by non-scientists as a lack of clarity and agreement, feeding the idea that disagreement among scientists should raise questions of trust. Only after the four lower tiers of needs have been met does an individual enjoy the luxury of worrying about the greater good of societies, said Maslow. The increase is most notable for expectations of the US government and of average people. The proportion of people who said their opinions on global warming were extremely or very strong was 55% in 2020, up from 41% in June 2010. However, Google searches do not precisely quantify the proportion of Americans concerned about a national problem or the extent of their concern. This survey provides a glimpse into the collective American psyche during a unique time in the nation’s history.
Journal of Peace Research 49(1): 11-22. Public Attitudes on Global Warming. 2010. —Roger Cooke, RFF Chauncey Starr Senior Fellow. After the storm, a poll from Elon University noted that 52% of North Carolinians believed that a negative impact to coastal communities from climate change was “very likely.” This increased from 45% the year prior, in 2017 (Husser et al, 2018). From brands donating to support local and national causes, to businesses advocating for climate justice, Americans increasingly expect the companies they patronize to not only supply goods, but to work toward the common good. Among people who have denied that global warming has been happening over the last 100 years, certainty has also escalated, reaching 44% in 2020. Three in four Americans say they have personally observed effects of global warming. Scientists use climate models to better understand how Earth’s climate changed in the past, how it is changing now and to predict future climate trends. Maslow posited that people are motivated by the desire to satisfy various sorts of needs, which have often been represented by a pyramid (Figure 1). Whereas more than 80% of people think governments, businesses, and people should be doing at least a moderate amount to deal with climate change, far fewer believe that these groups are actually doing that much—between 35% and 45% of people think these groups are currently doing at least a moderate amount to deal with climate change. But no such dramatic increases appeared, adding further disconfirmatory evidence to the literature. 2014. —Rebecca Epanchin-Niell, RFF Senior Fellow. © 2020 CNBC LLC. However, subsequent studies have failed to confirm that claim (Kerr and Wilson 2018; Kahan 2017). The Earth had its hottest May ever last month, continuing a climate change trend as 2020 is set to be among the hottest 10 years ever, scientists with the Copernicus Climate Change Service announced on Friday. Among people who believed that global warming has been occurring, the proportion of highly certain individuals was 45% in 1997 and has reached an all-time high of 63% in 2020. Desired Effort to Deal with Global Warming, Trust In and Agreement among Climate Scientists, https://www.langerresearch.com/wp-content/uploads/1198a1Global-Warming.pdf, https://www.elon.edu/u/elon-poll/wp-content/uploads/sites/819/2019/01/Elon-Poll-Report-101118.pdf, https://ar5-syr.ipcc.ch/topic_summary.php, https://voxeu.org/article/concern-environment-luxurygood-evidence-google-searches. Smokey Bear wears a protective face mask as he warns of high fire danger at the entrance to Griffith Park in Los Angeles Tuesday, May 26, 2020. At odds with Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, the findings in this survey offer a new perspective on how global warming fits into individual and national priorities during a time of hardship.
As we see here, attitudes toward climate change have the same inertia. Thus, better economic conditions predicted less concern about global warming, rather than more concern.
As people are increasingly able to seek out information that aligns with their beliefs, climate believers and deniers alike are able to find information that confirms their views. This month, two of the three largest wildfires in California history have burned separate parts of the state. (20-09) The Met Office have said May is on course to be the driest in 124 years with only 14.3mm of rain since the month began - 17% of what is normally expected. The percentage of Americans who believe humans have caused global warming has not changed notably during the twenty-first century. When asked whether global warming has been caused primarily by human activity, primarily by natural processes, or by both about equally, 82% of respondents pointed to human activity in 2020— nearly the same as the 81% observed in 1997.
And six of the warmest years on record were during the past decade. However, the researchers did find a correlation between state unemployment levels and residents’ beliefs—respondents living in states with smaller decreases in employment levels tended to believe in global warming more than people living in states with greater decreases in employment. When asked a similar question about future warming of 5°F 75 years from now, 70% of respondents said that would be “bad,” up from 61% in 1997. Maslow called the lower levels of the pyramid “deficiency needs”—the basic requirements for survival that must be satisfied for people to be happy, including having enough food to eat, a place to sleep, and the security of feeling physically safe.
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