Climate Change in the American Mind: December 2018

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There's nothing like hitting people where they live to goad them into action.

While 57 percent of respondents said they'd pay $1 per month extra on their electric bills to fight climate change, the coalition of the willing diminished sharply when that amount increased to $10 per month, with only 28 percent of respondents on board with that fee.

The data was gathered from 1,114 American adults in a web-based survey by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication.

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DON'T MISS: Black Friday report shows climate change already very expensive in U.S. Most notably, in the span of a year, the number of Americans who described climate change as "personally important" jumped nine points from 63 percent to 72 percent. Concern had been declining since then until getting a Trump bump (more on that in a second).The poll also shows 69 percent of Americans are anxious about climate change and 65 percent think it's affecting weather in the USA, which makes sense after the past two years we've had (and is accurate scientifically, to boot). Their latest poll "documents a continued upward trend in Americans' concern about global warming".

The survey says that 48 percent of Americans feel hopeful about global warming, while 51 percent feel helpless. About half blame global warming for making fires on the West Coast and hurricanes Michael and Florida worse. "And I think part of what's happening is the wildfires, the drought, the flooding, the changes are becoming closer to home".

Katharine Hayhoe, an atmospheric scientist at Texas Tech University will give a presentation titled "Barriers to Public Acceptance of Climate Science, Impacts and Solutions" at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 6 in Domenici Hall in the Yates Theatre, Room 106.

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Seven in ten Americans think that global warming is happening, and six in ten think that, if it is happening, it is mostly owing to human activity, but only about one in five know that almost all climate scientists agree that global warming is happening as a result of human activity. "This isn't happening in 50 years, 100 years from now". That's ten percent higher than what it was in 2015. That same poll also asked if people supported a carbon tax and found roughly two-thirds did if it was used to restore the natural world.

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. Such fees could, for example, go toward building more renewable wind and solar electric generation capability in users' local areas.

A record number of Americans now grasp that climate change is happening and that it poses a present danger.

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And that while the Mother City had averted so-called "day zero", when it would run out of water, "a recently published climate change attribution study tells us that the risk for droughts of this magnitude occurring in Cape Town has already increased by a factor of three as a effect of man-made climate change".

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