New poll shows little change in public acceptance of climate change

A new poll on public attitudes toward climate change from the Associated Press and the NORC Center for Public Affairs Research shows little change with respect to acceptance of climate change or to acknowledgement of human responsibility. Asked "Do you think that climate change is happening, do you think climate change is not happening, or aren't you sure?" 71% of respondents said yes, 11% said no, and 18% said that they were not sure.

Those who answered yes were asked about the cause of climate change: 17% said it is caused entirely by human activities, 49% said that it is caused mostly by human activities, 27% said that it is caused about equally by human activities and natural changes in the environment, 5% said that it is caused mostly by natural changes in the environment, 1% said that it is caused entirely by natural changes in the environment, and 2% said that they were not sure.

Political polarization in attitudes toward climate change continues to be evident: "Democrats are more likely to believe that climate change is happening than Republicans (90% vs. 51%)." Moreover, "Democrats are more likely than Republicans to believe human activity is to blame for climate change" with 77% of Democrats thinking that climate change is caused entirely or mostly by human activities as compared to only 43% of Republicans.

The survey was conducted by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research; 1053 people completed the survey via the web and telephone. According to the report (PDF), "Interviews for this survey were conducted between June 23 and 27, 2022, with adults age 18 and over from the 50 states and the District of Columbia. ... The overall margin of sampling is +/- 4.9 percentage points at the 95 percentage level."

Glenn Branch
Short Bio

Glenn Branch is Deputy Director of NCSE.

branch@ncse.ngo