public opinion

Despite Trump

Climate action outside DC is far broader and deeper than when he took office.

Trump remains a grave threat to climate action and to the planet at large. But there actually has been significant progress on climate policy despite him.  Not so much in DC, of course. But outside the Beltway, climate policy has widened and deepened. At the state level, there has been a barrage of climate activity.  …

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Networks of Misinformation

How Anti-Public Health Messages and Activities Spread

Like a virus, misinformation can spread within a population. It has its super-spreaders, just like the coronavirus. It can mutate in ways that make it more contagious. And it can be weaponized. Research into networks of coronavirus-related communication has revealed how both true and false information spread through social media .  Misinformation can spread like …

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Too Many Americans Think the Worst is Over

Alas, that light at the end of the tunnel is still very far away from us.

World War I lasted four years, with millions of deaths. At the start, however, many people thought the war would be quick and easy.  “Home by Christmas,” was what they said about their troops.  A frightening number of Americans now have similar illusions about the coronavirus pandemic. According to a CNN poll a released Tuesday, …

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OK Boomer

Sadly, all too many people in my generation are part of the problem.

The phrase “OK Boomer” got to be front-page news when Chlöe Swarbrick, a youthful member of the New Zealand parliament, used the phrase against a heckler.  She had been trying to explain why her generation was unwilling to accept delays in addressing climate change. She pointed out that her generation, and the ones to follow, …

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American Public Wakes Up, Smells the Coffee

Further evidence of a shift in public opinion on climate change.

As I discussed in a September 9th post, public opinion has been shifting toward greater recognition of climate change and the need to respond.  Much of the evidence came from polls dating back a few months. Further evidence is provided by two polls released this week. People do seem to be waking up to the …

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Climate of Opinion

What do Americans think about climate change and environmental regulation?

Public opinion has been moving toward greater acceptance of the realities of climate change and the need for action.  According to an April report by the Pew Charitable Trust, over half of Americans think the environment should be a priority for the next President, and over forty percent say that for climate change.  Both figures …

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Phase Changes in Public Opinion

Public opinion on an issue like climate change can sometimes flip quickly. Here’s why.

You might think that the public’s view of an issue – climate change for instance – would evolve continuously as events occur and information becomes available. That often may be the case, but sometimes public opinion can change relatively quickly. A prime example is the legitimacy of same-sex marriage, which went from being a weird, …

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Straws in the Wind? Climate Change and the GOP.

There are some signs the GOP may finally bestarting to acknowledge the reality of climate change.

Is Republican climate denial starting to crack?  The GOP’s official position has long been that climate change isn’t happening, or if it is, it’s not caused by humans, and anyway it’s not that serious and there’s nothing to be done about.  Three events last week may be signs that this position is starting to weaken. …

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Climate Change and Public Opinion

Public views of climate change are shifting, even among Republicans. But there’s a lot of confusion left about the causes and remedies for climate change. What do we know about the state of public opinion? And what should we do next? Is climate change happening? A recent poll by Monmouth University shows a significant shift in …

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Vox Populi and the Environment

Is Trump’s attack on environmental law riding a groundswell of public opinion? Apparently not.

Trump is pushing hard to rollback Obama’s climate change regulations, expand the use of fossil fuels, and discourage renewables.  Where does the public stand on all this?  The answer is that the public is mostly on the other side, but more needs to be done to heighten public awareness. A recent survey conducted jointly by …

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