This group brings together the best thinkers on energy and climate. Join us for smart, insightful posts and conversations about where the energy industry is and where it is going.

Post

How Americans Feel About Climate Change: An 11-year Perspective

Tom Eid's picture
Sustainable Environmental and Energy Management Advocate Independent

I have served as an analyst, consultant, and marketing manager in start-up, mid-size, and large companies. My focus is on market intelligence, customer engagement, and business strategy. I’m...

  • Member since 2019
  • 4 items added with 8,484 views
  • Dec 27, 2019
  • 7422 views

While climate change and global warming have increasingly become important topics for debate and discussion for more than two decades, results from a 2019 survey provide some surprising findings. 

The study was first conducted in November 2008 with surveys repeated twice a year.  The most recent version of the survey, published in December 2019, is an on-going, collaborative effort by the Yale Program on Climate Change and the George Mason University for Climate Change Communication.  The survey’s title:  Climate Change in the American Mind:  November 2019,” provides an 11-year perspective tapping into the collective American consciousness. 

The survey included questions regarding American’s beliefs, emotional responses, and experiences with global warming.  The full report and website is available at: https://climatecommunication.yale.edu/publications/climate-change-in-the-american-mind-november-2019/3/

Participants’ demographics provided a representative cross-section of the American adult population, balanced across men and women, birth generation, education, income, race, and regional residency.  Each bi-annual survey averaged more than 1,000 completed results.  The November 2019 survey had 1,303 completed results. 

Survey Topics and Questions:  November 2019 Survey

Participants were asked more than 30 questions in each survey regarding climate change and global warming.  Topic areas and representative questions are shown in the following table:

Topic Area

Representative Questions

1. Global Warming Beliefs

Do you think global warming is happening? 

 

How sure are you that global warming is/is not happening?

2. Emotional Responses to Global Warming

How worried are you about global warming? 

 

How strongly do you feel each of the following emotions when you think about the issue of global warming:  interested, disgusted, helpless, hopeful, angry, afraid, and outraged?

3.  Perceived Risks of Global Warming

I have personally experienced the effects of global warming:  agree or disagree?

4. Personal and Social Engagement with Global Warming

About how often do you hear about global warming in the media? 

 

About how often do you hear other people you know talk about global warming?

5. Reducing Global Warming 

Which of the following comes closest to your view (select from 1 of 5 options)?

6. How Americans Conceptualize Global Warming

In your opinion, do you think global warming is a(n) (respond to 12 types of issues)?

7. Global Warming and Severe Weather

How worried are you that the following might harm your local area (rate 7 types of weather events)?

Highlights from the November 2019 Survey

An important strength of the survey is its long history.  Its longitudinal trend data identifies growing concerns and worries about global warming’s potential impact.  And, there is an increasing number of Americans who have direct experiences with climate change effects. 

In the Global Warming Beliefs questions, a curious and somewhat unexpected set of results are provided:  Americans belief in the topic and concept of global warming has changed little from November 2008 to November 2019.  While the full data set shows small annual fluctuations, beliefs and certainty about overall global warming, and that global warming is caused by human activities, have remained remarkably stable over this 11-year span, as shown in the chart: 

Source:  Leiserowitz, A., Maibach, E., Rosenthal, S., Kotcher, J., Bergquist, P., Ballew, M., Goldberg, M., & Gustafson, A. (2019). Climate change in the American mind: November 2019. Yale University and George Mason University. New Haven, CT: Yale Program on Climate Change Communication.

Such findings indicate that Americans have been consistently well aware regarding climate change and global warming for more than 10 years.  Correspondingly, human activity, rather than natural environmental changes, is seen to help cause climate effects.  These results indicate that global warming and climate change are not short-time or “flash in the pan” concerns—they are a part of the contemporary American consciousness.   

Summary

The November 2019 survey’s results identify that since November 2008, there has been a consistent belief with Americans that global warming and climate change are occurring.  Also, Americans think that more and more of the population is being harmed by global warming and that humans have the ability to affect climate change. Americans want to take actions to mitigate and reduce the influence of global warming.  The most important reasons are aligned to:

  • Protecting our plants, animals, and the planet’s full environment
  • Enabling a better life for today and future generations
  • Improving people’s health, both here and abroad.

 

Discussions
Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Dec 27, 2019

7/10 Americans saying yes climate change is happening is not good enough, because that doesn't translate to 7/10 saying that this should be a top issue for elected officials and thus it falls to the wayside among other election issues. We need to do better for education, for awareness, and for action!

Noam Mayraz's picture
Noam Mayraz on Dec 28, 2019

Matt Chester, I accumulated sufficient evidence to prove that ‘Energy Central’ is actually ‘Energy Left”.  Look at the list of my posting that all y’all rejected.

I repeated time and again that all the chattering is just noise without substance.  You have not showed me anything different.  The UN has nothing to offer besides a lot of BS - Trump was very right to bail out of that Paris Accord.

I provided real scientific evidence from educated, experience people, Not only you have provided none, my posting have been rejected. 

Here are a few technical evidence, made for what you call "Outside USA the general view is that typical American is dumb"  

1. Professor Ivar Giaever 

https://www.mediatheque.lindau-nobel.org/videos/34729/ivar-giaever-global-warming-revisited/meeting-2015

Ivar Giaever explains why he left the American Physical Society in 2011, and what is the relevance of the State of the Art of Research in Climate Sciences.

2. Dr. Patrick Moore 

Here is an interesting viewing, 15:27 minutes, do not miss this, it will not come soon to a theater near you (as do Gore, Moore and DiCaprio's misrepresentations)...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JYQ6eZDXXRE

Digital Exclusive: Dr. Patrick Moore TEARS APART The Green New Deal | Huckabee

3. Dr. Patrick Michael 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fA5sGtj7QKQ&feature=youtu.be

Mark Levin interviews Dr. Patrick Michael – 32 computer modules.

4. John Coleman (Weather Channel)

That section, 3:08 to 5:08 minutes out of 10:24minutes - has it all, including what motivates 97% of the climatologists.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OhX2KQs3v5w&feature=youtu.be

Excerpts:

There is no consensus in science, science isn’t a vote, science is about the facts, if you get down to the hard cold facts, there is no question about it, climate change is not happening. There is no significant man-made global warming now, there hasn’t been any in the past, and there’s no reason to expect anything in the future, there’s a whole lot of baloney, and yes it has become a big political point of the Democrat party and part of their platform and I regret it’s become political instead of scientific. 

The government puts out about two and a half billion dollars directly for climate research every year, it only gives that money to scientists who will produce scientific results that support the global warming hypothesis of the Democrat Party of position so they don’t have any choice if you’re going to get the money you’ve got to support their position. 

5. For the icing on the cake watch this piece / clip about the guy that started it all, listen carefully to every word:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h9R0JVCy578

6. For supporting evidence watch the following:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7I5RLbbXgPc

 #Tucker  - Stossel: Why climate change alarmists get it wrong (4:53 minutes).

 

Ben Schultz's picture
Ben Schultz on Dec 29, 2019

"I accumulated sufficient evidence to prove that ‘Energy Central’ is actually ‘Energy Left”

That's a pretty witty turn of phrase, but "there is no question about it, climate change is not happening" is just a downright lie.

Take a look at this graph from the United States Global Change Research Program (USGCRP). It's one thing to argue that climate change isn't occuring, but it's an entirely different matter to claim that it isn't happening at all. You can even see the ramp up in temperature that directly correlates to the insane amount of production that occured during World War II. 100 years of data should be more than enough to be compelling, but the manufacturing boom of the past 40 years is evidence enough.

Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Dec 30, 2019

Noam,

I just want to take a moment to comment back and explain that Energy Central is open to all opinions and we encourage both sides of relevant utility industry debate. As we've discussed in the past, what we want to make sure to do, though, is ensure that content that is published to Energy Central is relevant to industry professionals in the utility sector specifically. Obviously there's always some connection between climate change discussions and the utility industry, but moving forward what we're going to continue to be more strict with is not publishing content that does not explicitly discuss and tie into the industry. 

We've allowed some of these climate-specific, non-industry posts through in the past-- such as this post-- but as we move into 2020 we will more closely evaluate our content approval and consistently pull back posts that are only on climate change and not power-sector focused. 

We're happy to answer any questions you may have and clarify this policy further if need be. We also appreciate the passion and engagement of all of our Energy Central community members and hope to continue to foster relevant and directed utility discussions. Thanks so much, all!

Matt

Energy Central Community Manager

Bob Meinetz's picture
Bob Meinetz on Dec 31, 2019

"The government puts out about two and a half billion dollars directly for climate research every year, it only gives that money to scientists who will produce scientific results that support the global warming hypothesis of the Democrat Party..."

What's your source for this claim, Noam?

Noam Mayraz's picture
Noam Mayraz on Jan 7, 2020

Bob, I am not sure if I responded to your question clearly enough. 

"What's your source for this claim, Noam?"

John Coleman (Weather Channel)

That section, 3:08 to 5:08 minutes out of 10:24 minutes - has it all, including what motivates 97% of the climatologists.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OhX2KQs3v5w&feature=youtu.be

Excerpts:

There is no consensus in science, science isn’t a vote, science is about the facts, if you get down to the hard cold facts, there is no question about it, climate change is not happening. There is no significant man-made global warming now, there hasn’t been any in the past, and there’s no reason to expect anything in the future, there’s a whole lot of baloney, and yes it has become a big political point of the Democrat party and part of their platform and I regret it’s become political instead of scientific. 

The government puts out about two and a half billion dollars directly for climate research every year, it only gives that money to scientists who will produce scientific results that support the global warming hypothesis of the Democrat Party of position so they don’t have any choice if you’re going to get the money you’ve got to support their position. 

Noam Mayraz's picture
Noam Mayraz on Dec 28, 2019

Tom Eid, your posting is childish and counterproductive.  It only presents the new "climate change" religion naked at its worse.

There is a climate change since creation, all depends on the sun's energy, the only energy available.

Man kind doing, as a metaphor, is like the fly on the ox's ass saying: "WE are plowing the field."

"Climate change" is not about what American believe, it is about facts and figures.  The fly's weigh is on a different scale than the ox's, and so the fly contribution to the plowing.

Yale and George Mason's universities professors, as you dared list them, are all leftists who teach how to take money from capitalist society and change our life like in Venezuela.

Google "Red Greta Spills the Green Beans"

The new religion of people who believe in "climate change", by mankind (it is changing by the sun, always have, always will), call it an incontrovertible truth.

Incontrovertible is an adjective, means there is no controversy about something, or, in other words, it is unchangeable and true. Incontrovertible evidence or proof is what you are looking for if you suspect that someone is doing something wrong.

Watch John Coleman (Weather Channel).  That section, 3:08 to 5:08 minutes out of 10:24 minutes - has it all, including what motivates 97% of the climatologists.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OhX2KQs3v5w&feature=youtu.be

Noam Mayraz's picture
Noam Mayraz on Dec 28, 2019

Tom Eid, I am very impressed with your 11 years track records.  That is typical “climate denier” strategy – picking up partial truth and presenting it as the all truth, nothing but the truth.

Trouble is that we have 31 years evidence since NASA Jim Hansen lied to the US Senate Investigation Committee in June 1988.

https://www.epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/press-releases-all?ID=b6a8baa3-802a-23ad-4650-cb6a01303a65

In 1989 the UN’s IPCC published a document that predicted 10 years survival… The UN’s IPCC won the 2007 Nobel Prize for this publication with Dr. Albert Gore, who is not an Einstein.

https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/peace/2007/summary/

The Nobel Peace Prize 2007 was awarded jointly to Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and Albert Arnold (Al) Gore Jr. "for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change."

According to his article from 1989 we should not exist today,

Subject: Ever wonder where ‘AOC’ and her gang the ‘Squad’ get their ‘ideas’ from?

This might be one - please notice published date . . .

https://www.apnews.com/bd45c372caf118ec99964ea547880cd0

Noam Mayraz's picture
Noam Mayraz on Dec 28, 2019

Tom Eid, here is the rest of the story (Paul Harvey's line):

John Coleman (Weather Channel), the section, 3:08 to 5:08 minutes out of 10:24 minutes - has it all, including what motivates 97% of the climatologists.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OhX2KQs3v5w&feature=youtu.be

Excerpts (out of the video sound track):

There is no consensus in science, science isn’t a vote, science is about the facts, if you get down to the hard cold facts, there is no question about it, climate change is not happening. There is no significant man-made global warming now, there hasn’t been any in the past, and there’s no reason to expect anything in the future, there’s a whole lot of baloney, and yes it has become a big political point of the Democrat party and part of their platform and I regret it’s become political instead of scientific.

The government puts out about two and a half billion dollars directly for climate research every year, it only gives that money to scientists who will produce scientific results that support the global warming hypothesis of the Democrat Party of position so they don’t have any choice if you’re going to get the money you’ve got to support their position. 

Have a great and Happy New Year, to you and yours.  Thx. Noam.

Rick Engebretson's picture
Rick Engebretson on Dec 29, 2019

I would like to see the mentioned rejected post by Noam Mayraz. I don't agree with him, but I don't agree with anybody else on the topic of climate change either.

What I do believe is this discussion is lazy and dangerous. As an older American male I am probably a little more aware of authoritarian disasters. Yes, too many people are pigging out too much and the earth is finite. But mass death from bad energy theories from bad (non) scientists is a bad solution.

In the mean time, we got our tree order form from Minnesota. I really think if more young people learned physical labor, ate better food, skipped the tattoos and drugs, we could build a greener future.

Noam Mayraz's picture
Noam Mayraz on Jan 7, 2020

Rick, I am not what you are not in agreement with me.  Could you specify the details.  Just as a heads up:

The "climate change" hoax / scam will hit the fan and spread its bogus idea and lies all over.

Metaphor: A fly on the ox’s ass is saying: “WE are plowing the field.”

The Sun is 864,400 miles (1,391,000 kilometers) across. This is about 109 times the diameter of Earth. The Sun weighs about 333,000 times as much as Earth. It is so large that about 1,300,000 planet Earths can fit inside of it.

According to “Climate Deniers”, the fly (earth) is actually plowing the field, screw the ox who weighs about 333,000 times as much as the fly (the sun)... It is so large that about 1,300,000 flies could fit inside of it...

Still, it is the fly (earth) who causes the "Climate Change"... an oxymoron???

I was wrong once. I thought I made a mistake, but I was wrong.

Rick Engebretson's picture
Rick Engebretson on Jan 8, 2020

Thanks Noam. At one time I considered myself a decent bioscientist. I took a lot of grad classes in math, physics, computers, chemistry, and biology at the U of MN Biophysics in the late 1970s early 80s. My grad research was Biophysical Chemistry. We desperately needed jobs so I pushed a "fiber optic super-network" about 1981... I wish I could say something nice about the science of the time, so I won't say anything at all. After the internet, I pushed "photocatalytic conversion" of biomass and building black dirt. I had very kind communications with the leading energy institutions of the early 1990s when they were all replaced by the windmill gang. Now I simplify "photocatalytic conversion" to just "copy fire."

So today we have more wildfire in Australia, war for oil in the mideast, and these "climate scientists" can't add one and one. Currently, I'm loving re-learning some 2005 Atmel AVR microcontroller AVR Studio IDE tricks like "breakpoints." They never had IDE breakpoints when I learned assembly language using punch cards in the 70s (when classes included Iranian students).

I keep looking for energy and climate scientists and never find them. How many decades until you give up?? I just thought you might be a real scientist with good ideas. I'm ALWAYS looking for good ideas.

Noam Mayraz's picture
Noam Mayraz on Jan 9, 2020

Rick, thanks for your kind observations.

Media Narrative Blown Apart as Aussie Authorities Count More Than 180 Arrests Related to Brush Fires, By Andrew J. Sciascia, Published January 7, 2020 at 2:16pm

As devastating bushfires continue to burn into their third straight calendar month in Australia, officials seem to have zeroed in on one of the disaster’s prime movers: arsonists.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported Monday that 183 people have been arrested and charged with fire-related offenses in the southeastern coastal state.

https://www.westernjournal.com/media-narrative-blown-apart-aussie-authorities-count-180-arrests-related-brush-fires/?utm_source=Email&utm_medium=CTBreaking&utm_campaign=breaking&utm_content=conservative-tribune

Jerry Watson's picture
Jerry Watson on Jan 3, 2020

I haven't commented in many years, but these forums never cease to amaze me. It is surprising how solidified our opinions run along political lines and how irrelevant the truth is. It is absurd to argue that the planet has not been on a general warming trend for thousands of years. There are no more glaciers or ice sheets in Ohio. The real question is how much of the warming is anthropological. Take James Lovelock now 100 years old was making dire predictions 25 years ago and has lived long enough to have to eat some crow and admit he was an alarmist.  He is not necessarily wrong but obviously, his time frame was.  Timing is the most difficult part of predicting the future. I fear I may be the only person in middle that would like to know the truth rather than drive some political agenda out of ignorance. We know the planet is warming, but how much is of this planetary warming is being driven by human activity? This questions seem to have fell by the way. How much of this portion is then driven by CO2 emissions? Here is something that has always confused me, CO2 causes slight warming which increases water vapor the big hitter in IR warming, if this is true then water vapor should cause runaway warming feeding on itself once the cycle had started. Once the cycle started all of Mr. Lovelocks dire predictions should have all manifested themselves. It is obvious I am just to simple minded to really understand what is happening I need to tap into the vast experince of 16 year Swedish Greta to enlighten me. It is my conjecture that James Lovelock, even though time has proven him to be wrong, has forgotten more about climate change than young miss Thunberg will ever know.    

Bob Meinetz's picture
Bob Meinetz on Jan 3, 2020

"..if this is true then water vapor should cause runaway warming feeding on itself once the cycle had started."

Jerry, the science is more complicated than that. Water vapor increases cloud cover. Clouds serve as a negative feedback - they reflect sunlight out to space.

Mike Cassity's picture
Mike Cassity on Jan 6, 2020

Thanks for sharing. Good data here.

Tom Eid's picture
Thank Tom for the Post!
Energy Central contributors share their experience and insights for the benefit of other Members (like you). Please show them your appreciation by leaving a comment, 'liking' this post, or following this Member.
More posts from this member

Get Published - Build a Following

The Energy Central Power Industry Network is based on one core idea - power industry professionals helping each other and advancing the industry by sharing and learning from each other.

If you have an experience or insight to share or have learned something from a conference or seminar, your peers and colleagues on Energy Central want to hear about it. It's also easy to share a link to an article you've liked or an industry resource that you think would be helpful.

                 Learn more about posting on Energy Central »