Sarah Mills spoke with the Christian Science Monitor about results from the latest National Survey on Energy and Environment (NSEE), which found that only 15 percent of Americans now deny that there is solid evidence of climate change, in contrast to 33 percent in the spring of 2014 and 36 percent in the spring of 2010.
The piece, “Fewer Americans doubt climate change—but confidence is up on both sides” reports that the number of those who believe in global warming has also risen. In the spring of 2010, 52 percent of those polled said they believed there was solid evidence of global warming. This spring, more than two-thirds of those polled expressed that view.
“This study certainly represents a shift in thought,” says Mills, “More than ever in the past, the science is not necessarily up for debate.”
But levels of confidence--whether Americans do or don't believe--are at all-time highs, as well.
In the fall of 2008, 56 percent of those who believed in global warming were "very confident," in contrast to 71 percent today. Of those who did not believe, some 34 percent said they were "very confident" in the fall of 2008, compared to 55 percent today.
Related NSEE coverage includes:
- Sarah Mills is interviewed by Michigan Radio's Environment Report in "Fewer Americans doubt climate change is real"
- Think Progress cites the NSEE in its Climate Progress story, "Trump may be making Republicans increasingly doubt global warming"
- MLive cites the NSEE in "Trump's skepticism of global warming may influence Republicans, survey finds"
Sarah Mills is a postdoctoral fellow with the Center for Local, State, and Urban Policy. She serves as project manager for the Michigan Public Policy Survey, supports the National Surveys on Energy and Environment, and is continuing research on the impact of wind energy policy on rural communities. She is first author on the policy brief, "Fewer Americans doubt global warming is occurring," described in this article.
The National Surveys on Energy and Environment (NSEE), a core activity in CLOSUP's Energy and Environmental Policy Initiative, reflects a formal partnership between the Muhlenberg Institute of Public Opinion at Muhlenberg College and the Center for Local, State, and Urban Policy at the University of Michigan's Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. NSEE surveys include twice-per-year national opinion surveys on issues directly related to climate change, as well as other surveys conducted on a range of topics such as hydraulic fracturing ("fracking"), the Great Lakes, and wider issues of energy and environment.