Powering Net Zero Commitments

Growing Number of Voters Care Deeply about Climate Change: New US Survey

Share this article on your social networks.

A new survey, Climate Insights 2020, on the attitude of American adults on climate change and the environment has found that a growing number of people care deeply about climate change and these attitudes might influence how they vote.

The survey was a joint project of researchers at Stanford University, Resources for the Future, and ReconMR.

Most people (70%) want the US government, governments in other countries, businesses, or average people to do more to deal with climate change. According to the survey, 82% of respondents feel that the US government should at least take moderate action to deal with global warming. Public opinion on this issue has never been so high.

Indeed, climate change concerns haveremained uppermost in people’s minds despite other crises that have befallen local and international communities.

The researchers found that climate change is not a so-called ‘’luxury good’’ as proposed by psychologist Abraham Maslow’s ‘’hierarchy of needs’’. A ‘’luxury good’’ would only feature once the four lower-tier needs have been fulfilled.

The question is, in the light of the hardships brought on by the novel coronavirus pandemic, job losses, uncertainty about the future, racial unrest and other social issues, would Americans see climate change as a top tier worry on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs? In other words, not of immediate basic concern.

No, that was not the finding. These crises are not diminishing the American public’s concern about the natural environment.

‘’A growing body of people care deeply about climate change and may be likely to cast their votes based on candidates’ climate policy platforms,’’ wrote the research group. They draw their conclusion partly from the so-called ‘’issue public’’ that is playing an increasingly important role in public perceptions about global warming. 

‘’Public issue’’ refers to a small group of people who consider an issue of great personal importance. These are the people who will take action on the issue they feel deeply about. They will go out and protest and support lobbyists financially to change policy. 

In 2020, the survey found the global warming issue public represented 25% of Americans. That is the highest it’s ever been. In 1997 it was 9%. The global warming public issue could influence the 2020 election. In heavily disputed states, large groups of people who are passionate about the protection of the environment might swing the vote in favour of those candidates who stand for the protection of the environment.

Majority Trust Scientists

Another interesting finding of the survey relates to public trust in scientists and public perceptions of disagreements amongst scientists. Most people (74% of respondents) say they trust what scientists say. That percentage has not changed since 2006. This is despite persistent attempts to disprove scientific findings.

What’s even more interesting, is the finding that people are not influenced by disagreements amongst scientists on global warming. Public opinion stays the same, whether they believe scientists are agreeing amongst themselves or disagreeing amongst themselves.

The findings of this survey support the findings of an earlier survey by researchers at Yale University and George Mason University. That survey found that during the COVID-19 epidemic, American public opinion about climate change remained constant and in some cases even reached all-time highs.

Related Posts

The most important scientific discovery of our time: NetFlix
Netflix states that the film, just released, centres around David Attenborough and Swedish Professor Johan Rockström's research and records “the most important scientific discovery of ...
Read More
4 Massive Climate Rulings Prove that Big Oil, Gas & Coal Are Running Out Of Hiding Places
3 global fossil fuel giants have been on the end of embarrassing rebukes over their inaction or inadequate action on ...
Read More
New IEA report gives meaning to Net Zero – five key insights
The IEA has released its long-awaited roadmap highlighting how the globe’s energy sector could slash its planet-heating emissions to net zero in 30 years
Read More
Methane emissions
Lowering Methane Emissions Is The Fastest Way To Slow Global Heating- UN Report
The new UN report discovered that methane emissions can be halved by 2030 with existing technology and at a reasonable cost. A large proportion of ...
Read More
Increasing Climate Change Promises are Moving the Needle
Recent and increasing promises concerning climate change made by major countries could bring the earth a fraction closer to the possibility of a more stable ...
Read More
Shocking results for nature’s climate change resilience – Retracing a century old wild life survey
When Berkely researchers following in the steps of Joseph Grinnell, a biologist who over a century ago developed a pioneering ...
Read More
Tech billionaires’ Ironman approach to climate change vs. planting trees
3 of the 5 richest individuals in the world, are all aiming to create new technologies which can lower the world’s carbon emissions and fight ...
Read More
climateaction 100plus
World First Net Zero Company Benchmark of the World’s Largest Corporate Emitters
Climate Action 100+, a $54 trillion investor coalition, released a report that evaluated several companies' climate change performance.
Read More
why do we need to conserve resources
74% of Economists Says Net Zero Actions are Economically Desirable
The majority of the international climate economists polled in February stated they had become increasingly concerned about climate change over the past 5 years
Read More