After two years of survey on top of survey showing consumers were becoming less concerned about climate change, the tide has turned.
A national survey done by Stanford, Ipsos, and Reuters in September shows a dramatic increase in the percentage of people who believe the world is getting warmer. 83% of Americans now say the globe’s temperature is increasing, up from 75% last year. Interestingly, this trend is consistent across all mainstream political groups---Republicans, Democrats, and Independents. What’s more, 71% of consumers think that climate change is at least partially due to human activity.
When asked what they project for the future, 72% of the population anticipates that the mercury will continue to rise in the next 100 years.
Consumers are getting more certain of their views, especially if they are climate skeptics. 53% of those who disagree with climate change are very or extremely certain of their position, an increase of 18 percentage points versus a year ago.
Experts point to two drivers of the increased belief in global warming. First, the weather has been more extreme than normal recently. The past 12 months have included some of the hottest temperatures on record, plus 10 natural disasters that have cost the US over $1 billion each. Second, the Republican debates, in which most candidates are climate skeptics, have spurred voters to think more about the topic, and paradoxically conclude climate change is real.