New Study: Natural Disasters Play A Significant Role in Americans’ Climate Opinions
A new study featured in Business Wire reveals that 57 percent of Americans cite natural disasters as being highly influential in shaping their climate opinions. The study, conducted by business communications firm Gibbs & Soell, also found that water scarcity is increasingly on Americans’ minds. Just under half of Americans say they’re more concerned about water scarcity now than they were five years ago.
These results indicates that changing weather and climate conditions are having an impact on at least some Americans’ ideas about climate change. But climate communicators still have work to do. Not only do climate communicators need to continue to drive home the weather – climate link, they also need to consistently communicate solutions, and use positive, empowering messaging to boost Americans’ confidence in their ability to solve the problem.
More than half (60 percent) of Americans believe that climate change is a result of human action such as deforestation and burning of fossil fuels, among other factors, according to the fifth annual Sense & Sustainability® Study released today. Thirty percent of U.S. adults are skeptical while 10 percent are unsure as to the impact of human activity on significant changes in temperature or precipitation over an extended period of time. Natural weather disasters are cited by more than half (57 percent) of Americans as highly influencing their opinions on climate change.
Gibbs & Soell, a global business communications firm with expertise in sustainability consulting for the advanced manufacturing, agribusiness and food, consumer, financial services, and home and building markets, commissioned Harris Poll to conduct the fifth edition of the Sense & Sustainability Study. This survey was fielded online between January 9 and 13, 2014 among 2,039 U.S. adults. The timeframe of the research coincided with the U.S. National Weather Service’s report of the initial occurrence this year of the North American cold wave, popularly known as a “polar vortex,” from January 2 to 11, 2014.
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