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Most Americans consider climate change as a real threat according to a new poll

A majority of Americans regard climate change as a problem of high importance to them, according to a new poll.

COP26: Host Britain has said it is seeking an international agreement to end coal power. — © AFP
COP26: Host Britain has said it is seeking an international agreement to end coal power. — © AFP

A majority of Americans regard climate change as a problem of high importance to them, according to a new poll which shows the public’s perception on the issue of global warming has changed over the last several years.

Nearly 6 out of 10 Americans also believe that the pace of global warming is speeding up, according to a new survey from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research and the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago.

Three in four Americans believe that climate change is happening and 41 percent think it’s caused mostly by human activities. Only a small minority — 10 percent — of Americans believe climate change is not happening. 

As President Joe Biden struggles to pass significant climate legislation at home ahead of next week’s U.N. climate summit, the poll shows that 55 percent of Americans want Congress to pass a bill to ensure that more of the nation’s electricity comes from clean energy and less from climate-damaging coal and natural gas.

Only 16 percent of Americans opposed such a measure for electricity from cleaner energy, according to The Hill.

The poll also included several items to gauge the public’s willingness to pay for both combating climate change as well as mitigating its consequences. The findings suggest that under several conditions, at least half of Americans are willing to pay more for energy use, reports the Associated Press.

Support dwindling slightly as the amount they would pay increases. Significant minorities of Americans — up to a quarter — are willing to pay as much as $100 per month more for energy depending on how those funds are used.

The nationwide poll was conducted by The AP-NORC Center and the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago (EPIC) from September 8-24, 2021, using TrueNorth®, which combines a sample from AmeriSpeak, the probability-based panel of NORC at the University of Chicago, with a non-probability panel sample.

Online and telephone interviews using landlines and cell phones were conducted with 5,468 adults. The margin of sampling error is +/- 1.7 percentage points.

Written By

Karen Graham is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for environmental news. Karen's view of what is happening in our world is colored by her love of history and how the past influences events taking place today. Her belief in man's part in the care of the planet and our environment has led her to focus on the need for action in dealing with climate change. It was said by Geoffrey C. Ward, "Journalism is merely history's first draft." Everyone who writes about what is happening today is indeed, writing a small part of our history.

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