A new national survey conducted by Yale finds that in the last 12 months, three of of 10 Americans (32 percent) have given business to a company as a reward for their steps to reduce global warming. Twenty-four percent also say that in the past 12 months, they have punished companies for opposing steps to reduce global warming by not purchasing their products. As a follow-up, 52 percent of the respondents answered that in the next 12 months, they intend to reward or punish companies for their action or inaction to reduce global warming.
“Many Americans are no longer content to just talk about global warming, they are doing something about it,” said Dr. Anthony Leiserowitz of Yale University. “Many are acting individually to save energy at home and on the road and are making consumer choices that support business action on climate change.”
Other major findings include:
- Americans are more likely to use public transportation or carpool (17 percent) and 25 percent say they “always” or “often” walk or bike rather than drive.
- A majority of Americans say they “always” or “often” set their thermostat no higher than 68 degrees during the winter (53 percent).
- Americans have become less confident that their individual actions to save energy will reduce their own contribution to global warming (32 percent, down 16 points since 2008).
- Americans are also less likely to say that if most people in the United States took similar actions it would reduce global warming “a lot” or “some” (60 percent, down 18 points since 2008).
- Twelve percent of Americans have contacted a government official about global warming by letter, email, or phone, and 15 percent have volunteered or donated money to an organization working to reduce global warming.
Another interesting finding was that no matter what their personal beliefs about global warming, many Americans say they have friends who have different views than their own. In fact, more are likely to have friends who disagree than agree with them about global warming. For example, 30 percent of Americans who believe global warming is happening and human-caused say “all” or “most” of their friends agree with them, but 42 percent say that only “a few” or “none” of their friends agree with them.
This report is based on findings from a nationally representative survey, “Climate Change in the American Mind,” conducted by the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication and the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication.