Friday, 19 April, 2019

Americans’ climate change concerns surge to record levels, poll shows

A structure is seen engulfed in flames during the Camp Fire in Paradise California A structure is seen engulfed in flames during the Camp Fire in Paradise California
Cary Marshall | 27 January, 2019, 22:07

Green Car Reports respectfully reminds its readers that the scientific validity of climate change is not a topic for debate in our comments.

Americans increasingly believe climate change is real, that humanity is largely responsible for it and that something needs to be done to fix the problem. "A number of potential initiatives may best be achieved through collective effort and to facilitate this, ICA has recently established the committee". A recent poll conducted by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication and the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication has noted a jump in concern about global warming.

Despite most of the country's political elite being rabid climate change deniers America seems to be waking up to the realities facing our planet.

Among Australia's major insurers, IAG and Suncorp have release climate change action plans, while QBE has indicated it will rethink its underwriting strategy on fossil fuels.

In 2018, Americans watched as California towns were incinerated by fires, hurricanes devastated coastal communities and a government report sounded the alarm about the impacts of a changing climate. The number who are "very anxious", 29 percent, is up 8 points since last March. More respondents than at any time since 2008 (57 percent) recognize that a majority of climate scientists agree that global warming is happening, although only 20 percent recognized how strong that consensus is-90 percent of climate scientists say that human activity is causing climate change.

Anthony Leiserowitz, director of the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication, pointed to the factually challenged President Trump's tweets as a possible reason that Americans are finally coming around to the science. By the end of the year, 72 percent of individuals surveyed said climate change was important to them, a nine percent increase from March. "They understand it's not decades away and it's not in some other place".

More news: Bradley Cooper makes a surprise appearance at Lady Gaga's show

Majorities would support a carbon tax if the money went to restore forests, wetlands, and other parts of the environment; fund research and development into renewable energy sources; or expand public transportation.

Not surprisingly as the per-month price increased, the percentage of respondents willing to pay generally decreased. An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll in December found that 71 percent of Democrats and 47 percent of independents believe that climate change is a serious problem and that "immediate action is necessary".

Leiserowitz believes that extreme weather, like 2018's deadly Hurricane Florence, is pushing people to reconsider their views on global warming.

In Wyoming, Utah, and Idaho, about 40 percent of people don't believe climate change is happening.

James Rainey is a reporter for NBC News, based in Los Angeles.

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