Science

72% of Americans are 'very worried' about climate change

72% of Americans are 'very worried' about climate change”

A total of 72 percent of polled Americans now say global warming is personally important to them, according to the Yale program on climate change communication.

ICA's latest climate change initiatives come as parts of the country swelter through above-normal summer temperatures, which scientists say is amplified by global warming.

"Americans have, unfortunately, had far more experience with what climate change looks like", researcher Anthony Leiserowitz told NPR. But the survey found that almost half of Americans (48 percent) now believe people in the United States are being harmed by global warming "right now".

The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) is stepping up its efforts to manage the impact of climate change on the industry and communities, amid stark warnings that failure to arrest global warming will cost the world dearly.

Last year's devastating California wildfires, the worst in the state's history, were compounded partly by climate change, Munich Re says, citing scientific studies. More than half are "extremely" or "very" sure climate change is occurring. These numbers haven't changed much over the past few years, which means that most of the people who've recently been convinced that climate change is real aren't willing to do anything much about it.

And still, a total of 59 percent of Americans say they rarely or never discuss climate change with their friends and family. The survey concluded the average person feels a range of emotions on the topic.

Still, the director of the survey that has most consistently tracked public opinion on global warming said there is reason for hope in the most recent survey, conducted by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication and the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication.

About two-thirds of Americans believe that global warming is influencing the weather, in the wake of a string of deadly extreme events in the US. The highest-ever proportion, 46 percent, said they'd personally experienced the effects of global warming.

Climate change has become an increasingly animating cause for progressive Democrats, with campaigning by emerging grassroots groups and figures such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the newly elected congresswoman from NY, pushing for a "Green New Deal". "They understand it's not decades away and it's not in some other place".

But the survey by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research also showed that Americans - despite that knowledge - still do not rate climate change as a front-of-mind issue. However, if the monthly charge increased to $10 a month, just 28 percent would be supportive, while 68 percent would be opposed.

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



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