Fewer Americans Think Their Individual Actions Influence Climate Change
In 2019, a solid majority of Americans thought that their efforts to combat climate change were making a difference. That number has shrunk to barely one-half, and while some Americans continue to turn off lights when not in use, drive less, take fewer flights, and use energy-efficient appliances, many do so because of financial—not ecological—concerns.
“Over the last four years, people have been faced with so many problems. Climate change is still a concern, but it’s lower on Americans’ lists of priorities. We still see people doing things to reduce their carbon footprint. But for the most part, they are doing them for economic reasons, to deal with higher gas prices and the inflation of food prices.”
A new poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that, compared with 2019, Americans are less inclined to think they can personally impact climate change, to feel that they themselves are affected by climate change, or to say individuals have a responsibility to address the issue. Overall, fewer people are engaging in climate change activism. At the same time, 71 percent of Americans believe that climate change is real, and most are concerned about its impact on future generations and coastal communities.
This article is from our flagship newsletter, NORC Now. NORC Now keeps you informed of the full breadth of NORC’s work, the questions we help our clients answer, and the issues we help them address.