Americans See Climate as a Concern, Even Amid Coronavirus Crisis

An article published today in the New York Times highlights the results of a new national survey, which shows that Americans' concerns about climate change have not been diminished by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. On the contrary, the survey found that acceptance of the reality of climate change is at a record high in some cases. 

"The percentage of people who are “extremely” or “very” certain that it is happening has risen to a record high, 54 percent. And 62 percent accepted the established scientific view that global warming is mostly caused by human activity, a level also tied with the figure for 2019," according to the article.

This result has surprised researchers, who saw a significant drop in Americans' level of acceptance of climate science during the Great Recession and expected that COVID-19 and the associated economic fallout may similarly erode concern about climate change. This new research may indicate that climate change has matured into a "durable" concern that is top of mind for many Americans, even in the presence of other high-level worries.

According to Dr. Edward Maibach, one of the researchers cited in the article,"The new survey results show that a "majority of Americans see climate change as a clear and present threat to the health of people in their community... It’s a threat that’s come home.”

Americans See Climate as a Concern, Even Amid Coronavirus Crisis, New York Times