National Survey Indicates Americans Split on Climate Change and Global Warming
The Paris Agreement–which now has 195 signatories–outlines a plan for the signatories to work together to limit global temperature rises. All of these signatories agree to report both their emissions and their plans to reduce them directly to the U.N. It goes into effect in 2020.
The Trump Administration pulled out of the Paris Agreement on June 1, 2017, causing a global, almost universal, backlash. Several state governors, Republicans and Democrats both, and Puerto Rico have even ignored the federal withdrawal and pledged to uphold the agreement on a state level. You can learn more about the U.S. Climate Alliance here.
Unfortunately, most people don’t know the implications that arise from a Trump withdrawal from the Paris Agreement. As our survey reveals, most have never even heard of the Paris Agreement.
And this is a problem.
The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned recently that we have only 12 years to limit climate change catastrophe before things get much, much worse for us inhabitants of the earth. The report indicates that failure to get global temperatures to below 1.5 degrees Celcius “will significantly worsen the risks of drought, floods, extreme heat and poverty for hundreds of millions of people.”
In light of this report, we at Rockay–as an eco-conscious apparel company–were curious as to just where the public lies on the climate change. That’s why we surveyed 1,000 Americans from different regions of the U.S. to glean what they already know about climate change, what they already do to mitigate its effects, and what they would be willing to do if armed with new information.
Below are some of the questions and answers we found from our climate change survey.
As you can see above, 14.1% of respondents speak “Very Often” about global warming, while 50.1% responded that they “Rarely” or “Never” do. This indicates that global warming isn’t very important to most of the general public, although they’re admittedly sort of concerned about it.
We also asked respondents if they believed that global warming would be problematic in their own lifetime. There was a clear split amongst people that believed it would be problematic (34.2%), and those that believed either their generation wouldn’t have to deal with global warming effects or that global warming itself was a hoax (33.7%).
Despite this seemingly even response, the data surprisingly revealed that the majority of the respondents, 56.1% of them, had no conception at all of what the Paris Agreement is.
It’s pretty clear from the statistics above that Americans are split on the issue of climate change. So given that some of this international bickering and intergovernmental disputation is completely out of your control, what can you do to help limit the deleterious effects of global warming?
We asked Isaac Hankes, Ph.D.–a Weather Research Analyst at Refinitiv–what he thought. His answer was enlightening. He stated that “the Paris climate agreement is as political as it is scientific, and even if fully embraced will not offset much more than about 0.1°C of warming. This underscores the importance of personal action by anyone concerned about the effects of warming to make a difference by making energy-saving decisions. Such opportunity now exists in nearly all facets of a home, and actions as simple as installing LED light bulbs or smart power strips could easily supersede any slower-moving government action in offsetting emissions-based warming.”
This is uplifting. Considering that it’s estimated that residential activities account for a whopping 20 percent of the total carbon dioxide emissions in the United States, it can reasonably be asserted that mitigating the effects global warming begins at home.
But that’s a tall order, isn’t it? To narrow it down, we zeroed in on a seemingly uninteresting residential activity that particularly intrigued us an environmentally conscious clothing manufacturer: laundry. That’s right–changing something as ostensibly benign as your laundry habits will go a long, long way in reducing your carbon footprint, as well as contributing a great deal to the water scarcity problem that much of the world is currently facing. This would, in our view, be a step in the right direction, especially considering the fact that the Paris Agreement–as monumental as it is–doesn’t actually make any overt, specific provisions for the water problem.
For more information and a comprehensive look at exactly how and why you should change your laundry habits, click here.
Conducted online via 3GEM RESEARCH & INSIGHTS in December 2018. Response based on responses from 1500 American adults. Survey respondents were between the ages of 18 and 55+. 3GEM employees are both MRS and ESOMAR accredited. View the full survey results here.