Recent polling shows that Americans are starting to connect the dots between the record flood events of Hurricanes Michael and Florence and the mega forest fires on the West Coast to Climate Change. And that is shifting perspective not only on that issue but also how that issue will be part of the 2020 Presidential campaign issues.
A total of 72% of polled Americans now say global warming is personally important to them, according to the Yale program on climate change communication. This is the highest level of concern since Yale starting polling the question in 2008.
Overall, 73% of Americans accept that global warming is happening, outnumbering those who don’t by five to one. This acceptance has strengthened in recent years, rising by 10% since March 2015. The proportion that grasps that humans are the primary cause of warming is smaller, with 62% understanding this to be the case.
About two-thirds of Americans believe that global warming is influencing the weather, in the wake of a string of deadly extreme events in the US. About half say the disastrous wildfires in California and Hurricanes Florence and Michael, which flattened parts of North Carolina and Florida, were worsened because of rising global temperatures.
“Global warming used to be viewed as a problem distant in time and space,” said report co-lead researcher Ed Maibach, a climate change and public health communications expert at George Mason University.
“But Americans increasingly understand that global warming is here and now and are growing concerned about the threat to themselves, their communities and the nation.”
Just this week Jay Inslee became the first Democratic candidate for President who is making Climate Change the centerpiece of his Presidential campaign – showing just how far public opinion has shifted on this issue…