Consensus on Climate Change

Talking about climate change can bring up a range of emotions and responses in people. Concern may arise for some because climate change threatens their families, communities, and future. Others are upset because they say government regulations to stop climate change destroys our freedom. Some still see climate change as a conspiracy theory, others as deliberate planetary destruction by profiteers. It may seem hard to find a middle ground – but it’s there.

Beyond reviewing communications research and polling on climate change regularly, ecoAmerica conducts American Climate Perspectives Surveys each year to help us focus on messages that unite us. We’ve synthesized our recent research into a few topics that you can talk to your colleagues and family about in a productive, positive way. These findings highlight topics that Americans across political parties agree on.

Consensus Point 1: Americans have a right to and a moral responsibility for clean air and water. Nobody likes air and water pollution. 

We all want to live in a healthy, thriving environment with clean air and water. And, as the recent Norfolk Southern train wreck in East Palestine, Ohio shows, pollution is a troubling issue.

Consensus Point 2: Americans want to protect their personal and public health. Closely related to the pollution nexus with climate change, people support climate solutions that protect their health.

Severe weather, droughts, floods, and storms all impact our health and the national perspectives of climate change may shift if communication highlights the connections. Next time you hear about an atmospheric river, derecho, or flood, consider talking about how it affects people’s health.

Consensus Point 3: Americans are more concerned about climate change than you may think. They may feel uncomfortable talking about scientific phenomena and political policies on the issue, because few around them do, but deep inside they are worried.

Just talking about your climate change concerns — letting people know you are worried and why — can build shared perspectives. The majority of Americans are linking climate change to severe weather — 76% of Americans say climate change is strengthening or increasing the frequency of extreme weather events. Nationally, 84% of Americans say addressing climate change should be a top, high, or medium priority, including 91% of Democrats and 67% of Republicans. The majority of Americans agree it’s time to act. You can talk to your friends, family, colleagues, and neighbors today. 

About ecoAmerica
ecoAmerica builds institutional leadership, public support, and political resolve for climate solutions in the United States. We help national mainstream organizations elevate their climate leadership, providing them strategy, tools and resources to: demonstrate visible climate leadership, empower climate literacy, engage all constituents, and build collective action and advocacy. We help our partners transform into national climate leaders who inspire others on solutions.

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