Opinions of people in the United States about climate change range widely. Yale and George Mason Universities surveyed >22,000 people between 2008 and 2018 for the Climate Change in the American Mind project. The survey reveals a lot about beliefs, perceptions, support, and behavior across the country. You can compare your opinions with others in your state, congressional district, metro area, and county.
Funding for the study was provided by the Skoll Global Threats Fund, the Energy Foundation, the 11th Hour Project, the Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment, the MacArthur Foundation, the Overlook Foundation and the Endeavor Foundation.
70% of the respondents agree global warming is happening
49% agree that most scientists think it is happening
70% believe it will harm future generations
41% say it is now harming them personally
79% think schools should teach about climate change
70% say environmental protection is more important than economic growth
The study presents the data in an interactive map of the U.S. Continue reading below where you will find a video tutorial I made showing how to easily use the interactive features of the map. If you prefer to explore on your own, click the map image below to go directly to the study.
Above the interactive map at the web site are six labeled tabs giving more detailed info:
Opinion Maps | About | Methodology | Survey Questions | Data Download | FAQ
Respondents were asked 28 questions about their beliefs about climate change, what risks they perceive, what policies they would support, and how they behave regarding climate change. The methodology incorporated models to validate results nationally, statewide, by districts, metro areas and counties. General results of the >22,000 surveyed were compared to independent, representative state surveys conducted in California, Colorado, Ohio, Texas, and city level surveys in San Francisco, and Columbus, Ohio in 2013.
Tutorial for Map Navigation
This 9 min tutorial will save you time as you try to learn how the interactive behaves. There is a large amount of information available on a more granular level as you explore each question at state, district, metro, and county views.
What Do You Think?
Feedback about the study is welcome. How were your attitudes reinforced? Were you surprised by results from your part of the country? Do you feel more, or less, optimistic after seeing this? Some of the results made me feel more hopeful public opinion was on the right track. Others made me discouraged. Few of the responses surprised me. Many important issues are fraught with very large gulfs of disagreement when we should instead be focused on finding solutions. This issue isn’t going away on its own. It will continue to present the populations of the world with challenges. I’m not feeling very optimistic of our willingness to meet them and accept change. I would like to be proven wrong.
This from Joel Pett of the Lexington Herald…