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Expand chart
Data: Pew Research Center; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

Americans are talking about the need for action on climate change.

Why it matters: Texas Tech climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe says simply talking about climate change is among the most powerful things individuals can do to address it.

Context: A new Pew survey released Wednesday finds that a majority of Americans — 56% — have talked about climate change at least sometimes in recent weeks. (Perhaps not surprisingly, younger Americans are more likely to discuss climate action.)

By the numbers: The poll found that during the past few weeks, 18% of U.S. adults said they’ve discussed the need for action on climate change at least a few times, and another 38% said they’ve discussed this once or twice.

  • 43% said they never discussed this topic.
  • Interestingly, 26% of U.S. adults said a friend or family member has encouraged them to get more involved with efforts to combat climate change, while fewer said they'd been discouraged to take action.
  • When it comes to age range, 24% of Gen Z adults (born after 1996) said they had talked about climate action at least a few times each week, compared with just 14% of baby boomer and older adults.
  • Democrats were also more likely than Republicans to be talking about this topic, which is in keeping with the partisan divide on the issue.

Of note: The poll was taken from April 20-29 of this year. The margin of error is ±1.4%.

Go deeper

EPA: Climate change disproportionately affects marginalized communities

Homes stand partially flooded in LaPlace, Louisiana on Aug. 30 in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida. Photo: Patrick Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

The effects of climate change disproportionately fall on "underserved communities who are least able to prepare for, and recover from, heat waves, poor air quality, flooding, and other impacts," according to an Environmental Protection Agency report released Thursday.

Why it matters: “The impacts of climate change that we are feeling today, from extreme heat to flooding to severe storms, are expected to get worse, and people least able to prepare and cope are disproportionately exposed," EPA Administrator Michael Regan said in a statement.

How to reduce the toll of the next big storm

Expand chart
Data: National Weather Service; Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

Weather and climate science experts are struggling to determine how their accurate warnings of potentially disastrous urban flooding, instigated by Hurricane Ida’s remnants and supercharged by climate change, still resulted in so many deaths.

Why it matters: As climate change exacerbates extreme precipitation events such as this one, disconnects between forecasters and the public will need to be fixed in order to limit future deaths.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Sep 3, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Democrats running out of time for climate change action

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Democrats' Beltway drama over their $3.5 trillion spending package could influence the outcomes at a critical United Nations climate summit this fall.

Driving the news: Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) is calling for a "pause" in senior Democrats' plan to move a $3.5 trillion package that would include major clean energy and climate measures.