Is climate change affecting the way you do business? Or client concerns and expectations? According to a report released November 25 by Pew Research Center, U.S. Public Views on Climate and Energy, most Americans today (62%) say that climate change is affecting their local community either a great deal or some. Specifically, 22% of Americans say climate change is affecting their local community “A great deal;” 39% feel it is affecting it “Some,” while 38% say “Not too much/not at all.”
The local effects being seen among the 62% group include:
• 79% say long periods of unusually hot weather;
• 70% say severe weather, like floods or intense storms;
• 69% say harm to animal wildlife and their habitats;
• 67% say damage to forest and plant life;
• 64% say droughts or water shortages;
• 56% say more frequent wildfires; and
• 56% say rising sea levels that erode beaches and shore lines.
Other information in the Pew Research Report includes:
The degree to which Americans report experiencing climate change effects in their local community varies by geographic region. Americans in Pacific states—which include California, Washington, Oregon, Hawaii, and Alaska—report seeing the most impacts, at 72%. By comparison, 54% of those living in Mountain states—Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming—say climate change is affecting their local area at least some.
Besides long periods of unusually hot weather, other impacts of climate change by those seeing effects tend to vary by region. As one might suspect, people in Pacific and Mountain states say more frequent wildfires are a major effect (83% and 78%, respectively), compared with 52% of those in the South, 46% in the Northeast, and 40% in the Midwest. Proximity to coastline also makes a difference, with 72% of those living within 25 miles of a coast and seeing at least some climate change effects, citing rising sea levels as a major impact.
A partisan lens also plays a role in these perceptions. Democrats and Democratic leaners (82%) are more likely than Republicans (38%, including leaners) to report at least some effects of climate change on their local communities.
For the full report, including views on whether the federal government is doing enough to reduce the effects of climate change, more partisan perspective, and attitudes toward practices like reducing water use, visit here.
—Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes, and trends shaping the world. It conducts public opinion polling, demographic research, media content analysis, and other empirical social science research. Pew Research Center does not take policy positions. It is a subsidiary of The Pew Charitable Trusts.