Highlights from recent research on the science of climate change communication:
- Some 68 percent of voters—including 48 percent of Republicans—believe the climate is changing and the government should work to cut greenhouse gases (Just Win Strategies & TargetPoint Consulting, 2016).
- Three in four millennials say they would be more likely to vote for a candidate who wants to move from fossil fuels to clean energy. Nearly half would "never" vote for a candidate who wants to eliminate the EPA. Significantly, 44 percent see little difference between Clinton and Trump on clean energy (NextGen Climate & Project New America, 2016).
- Americans cluster into six distinct groups according to their views on climate change. The most engaged group, the Alarmed, now encompasses 17 percent of Americans and 19 percent of registered voters. For the Alarmed, climate is a leading issue in the presidential election. The Concerned and the Cautious would be more likely to vote for a candidate who supports action on climate change. Only the Dismissive would be more likely to vote for a candidate who opposes action on climate change (Roser-Renouf, Maibach, Leiserowitz, & Rosenthal, 2016). Learn more in Americans on Climate Change.
- Three in five Republicans and four in five Democrats believe the government should increase and enforce fuel economy standards (Consumers Union, 2016).
- Nearly four in five Hispanics say climate change is a somewhat serious or very serious problem, up almost 7 percent from last year (Florida Atlantic University Business and Economics Polling Initiative, 2016).
- Social norms can change behavior more effectively than rewards. Grad students in London cut their energy consumption after being told how their energy use compared to their neighbors. When offered a prize for cutting energy use, grad students limited consumption in the short-term, but the effect later faded (Alberts et al., 2016).
- Hotter summers can make people more likely to accept the climate is changing (Shao, Garand, Keim, & Hamilton, 2016).
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