Sep 28, 2021 - Energy & Environment

Americans' concern about climate hits all-time highs

The flooded Major Deegan Expressway following a night of heavy rain from remnants of Hurricane Ida on Sept. 2, 2021, in New York City.

The flooded Major Deegan Expressway following a night of heavy rain from remnants of Hurricane Ida on Sept. 2, 2021, in New York City. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

After a disaster-filled summer, a record number of Americans are concerned about global warming, according to a new poll from the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication.

Driving the news: The number of Americans who said they are “very” or “somewhat worried” about global warming has reached an all-time high of 70%, the Yale group found as part of a survey it has been conducting since 2008.

Why it matters: The polling suggests that the extreme weather seen this summer may be shifting minds. It comes the same week that Congress is debating pivotal infrastructure bills that would boost federal support for electric vehicles and move the electricity sector toward renewables.

Details: The percentage of respondents in the nationally representative survey who said they are “very worried” about global warming increased by 10 points between March and September, the center stated in a report.

  • In addition, Americans’ belief that global warming is happening has increased 6 percentage points since March, with those who think it is occurring outnumbering those who don’t by more than 6 to 1, the report states.
  • And in another significant swing, a majority of Americans — 55% —now say people in this country are being harmed “right now” by global warming. Previous surveys had never found that question to garner 50% support or greater.

Background: The poll conducted Sept. 10-20 has a sample size of 1,006 and a margin of error of plus or minus 3%.

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