In Research

Most of what Americans heard from the Trump Administration in its first year focused on dismissing climate change as a man-made problem, undermining the legitimacy of news organizations covering the issue, announcements about regulation rollbacks, and exiting the Paris Agreement. Eschewing support for climate solutions, the rhetoric centered on jobs, the economy, reviving the coal industry, and opening up new areas for oil exploration. All of which seem to have impacted American attitudes and actions in dramatic ways, including  year-over-year increases in support for oil production, climate fatalism and solution trade off sentiments.

The January 2018 American Climate Perspectives Survey by ecoAmerica and Lake Research Partners found notable year-over-year changes of key climate attitudes and actions. The survey found significant shifts, both upward and downward, in trust, energy, hope, and action. The largest decrease was a 10-point decline in trust of the President as a source of information on climate change. The largest increases were in climate action.

Below are some highlights of our monthly poll; you can download the full report HERE.

  • Only 31% of Americans currently trust President Trump on climate, a 10-point drop from the 41% who trusted President Obama in 2016.
  • Rising support for increasing the production of fossil fuels is likely responsible for the 9-point increase (to 25%) in trust for oil companies as a source of the very information they work to disprove.
  • There was a 7-point increase (to 37%) in support for more coal production, and a five-point increase (to 47%) in support for more oil.
  • More than 1 in 3 Americans now believes there is nothing we can do to stop climate change, an 8-point increase from last year.

Despite the rise in oppositional attitudes, personal action and local, community-based action on climate are on the rise. And there is mounting evidence that more Americans are eager for local solutions and are invigorated to elevate action and advocacy on solutions.

  • 1 in 4 Americans have discussed climate change at their place of worship, a 10-point increase from 2016.
  • More than one-third (36%) of Americans have heard or read about climate change from friends and family (up from 27% in 2016)
  • Some 22% now report they have purchased wind or solar energy for their homes, up from only 13% who reported havin done so in 2016.
  • Nearly 1 in 3 Americans now report that their city is taking action to prepare for climate change, up from 1 in 5.

For more information contact Meighen Speiser, ecoAmerica Chief Engagement Officer  at meighen@ecoAmerica.org

 

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