A Nuanced Picture Of Public Opinion About Climate Change In The U.S.

A research team at Yale University has created an online interactive tool called "Yale Climate Opinion Maps," which allows users to explore differences in public opinion about climate change in the United States.

The maps are based on national survey data gathered between 2008 and 2014 by the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication and the George Mason Center for Climate Change Communication. Using new statistical techniques, the researchers are able to provide estimates of U.S. climate change beliefs, risk perceptions, and policy preferences at the state and local (congressional districts, counties, and cities) levels.

The maps suggest that while Americans know that global warming is happening, there is significant variation between and within states in the level of concern about global warming: concern ranges from an estimated low of 38 percent in Pickett County, TN, to a high of 74 percent in Washington, D.C. In Texas, only 39 percent of King County residents are worried about the phenomenon, compared to 61 percent of Travis County residents.

Few Americans appear to believe that human activities are driving global warming, and fewer still are aware of the scientific consensus about climate change.  Nevertheless, many support funding research into renewable energy sources and regulating CO2 as a pollutant.

Read more:

TeachingwithData.org resources:
Attitudes about Global Warming in the United States: A Data-Driven Learning Guide (http://www.teachingwithdata.org/resource/3430)
Global Annual Temperature Scenario: 2050 (http://www.teachingwithdata.org/resource/3013)
Global Sustainability Curriculum Finder (http://www.teachingwithdata.org/resource/3286)
Frederique Laubepin

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