By Anders Lorenzen
Despite having a US Administration and President who have adopted a climate denying approach, more Americans than ever now accept the scientific reality of human-induced climate change.
Those are the findings of a new survey conducted by Yale Program On Climate Change Communication. The groundbreaking survey found that a large majority of Americans say the issue of global warming is personally important to them. This figure is outnumbering those who do not think so by more than a two-to-one margin. The percentage of Americans who say global warming is personally important is now at a record high (72%), up 9 percentage points since March 2018.
Lead researcher Anthony Leiserowitz, PhD. of Yale University, believes that the many extreme weather events which Americans experienced in 2018 have something to do with it. “After a year of devastating extreme events, dire scientific reports, and growing media coverage of climate change, a record number of Americans are convinced that human-caused global warming is happening, are increasingly worried, and say the issue is personally important to them.”
The survey declares that 73% of Americans now think that climate change is happening, But when it comes down to whether it is caused by human activity, that number drops to 62%. However, according to Yale, a record low of 23% now mostly blame natural changes in the environment. A huge number, 69% of Americans are worried about climate change, and of that 29 % are very worried which is an 8% increase since March last year.
65% of Americans think that climate change is impacting the weather in the US. Around half of the US population thinks that the 2018 wildfires and/or hurricanes Florence and Michael were made worse by climate change. And, with a slight dip, 48% think that climate change is harming the USA.
These new figures are even more impressive, taking in consideration that large numbers of politicians continue to put out climate-denying messages. Many businesses are funding climate-denying messages, and some news organisations are also questioning the reality of climate change.
The Yale survey confirms that the majority of Americans are at odds with the US President’s stance on climate change, even amongst those who voted for him. It is, therefore, feasible to think that if Donald Trump adopted a pro-stance on tackling climate change it could be a vote winner.