Research Roundup for February, 2018

Highlights from recent research on the science of climate change communication:

  • Support for phasing out coal-fired power plants grew among both Democrats and Republicans between 2016 and 2017. Support for increasing the use of gas-fired power plants waned over the same period (University of Michigan, 2018).
  • A majority of Americans now oppose increasing offshore drilling, though the public is sharply divided along partisan lines (Pew Research, 2018).
  • More and more Democrats think climate change should be a top priority for the president and Congress, while the number of Republicans who say so has remained roughly the same in recent years. Climate change and the environment remain exceptionally divisive issues. (Pew Research, 2018).
  • Voters in Nevada, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico are more likely to identify as conservationists than they were two years ago. By a three to one margin, they believe that protecting public lands should be a higher priority for the administration than opening public lands to oil and gas drilling (Colorado College, 2018).
  • More than seven in 10 Oregonians support rules to put the state on track to generating 100 percent of its power from renewables by 2050 (PolicyInteractive, 2018).
  • American Christians — including Catholics, Protestants and members of other denominations — have shown less and less concern about the environment over time. This finding holds regardless of how often people attend church (Konisky, 2018).
  • Latina women are more likely to say they are personally affected by air pollution and extreme weather than white women or black women (EcoAmerica & LRP, 2018).
  • Most Americans lie about how often they vote. This includes those who say they prioritize the environment (Environmental Voter Project, 2018).


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