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Climate Change in the Texan MindAuthor: Organization: Yale Project on Climate Change Communication
Polling & Social Science
A statewide survey by Yale University finds that most Texans are experiencing climate impacts and are worried about the issue, yet are still unsure as to whether scientists agree that climate change is human-caused.
WHY YOU SHOULD TAKE A LOOK:
The report includes data on Texans’ beliefs and attitudes about climate change, including their personal experiences with extreme weather and support for policies.
Attitudes: Most Texans believe global warming is happening, but disagree about the cause and scientific consensus.
70% of Texans believe that global warming is happening. Both those who agree and who don’t agree that global warming is happening are just as firm in their beliefs.
44% believe that if global warming is happening, it is caused mostly by humans.
47% believe there is a lot of disagreement among scientists.
54% say they are very or somewhat worried about global warming.
52% say that they have personally experienced the effects of global warming.
8% believe that humans can reduce global warming and will do so successfully.
Impacts: Most Texans have observed climate impacts, but don’t see it as an immediate threat to themselves.
67% say that drought has become more severe in Texas and 92% anticipate more drought and water shortages over the next 50 years.
57% say that heat waves have become more severe in Texas and 95% anticipate more heat waves over the next 50 years.
52% say that wildfires have become more severe in Texas.
40% saying global warming will do at least a moderate amount of harm to them personally.
Policy: Most Texans want industry, citizens, and government to do more to address the issue.
75% say that global warming should be a priority for the president and Congress.
Texans say that citizens themselves (69%) and corporations and industry (68%) should be doing more to address climate change.
55% say the United States should reduce greenhouse gas emissions regardless of what other countries do.
77% support tax rebates for people who purchase energy-efficient vehicles or solar panels.
More Texans support “fracking” (32%) than oppose it (17%). Almost half (47%), however, are currently undecided.
Action: Many Texans are engaged in actions to limit global warming and agree that we can make a difference.
82% have at least a few CFLs in their home.
42% say they set their thermostats—always, often, or sometimes—to 68 degrees or cooler in the winter.
68% rarely or never walk or bike instead of drive.
44% say that, over the past 12 months, they have rewarded companies that are taking steps to reduce global warming by buying their products at least once.
Communication: Nearly half of Texans are talking about global warming with their family and friends about global warming, but few contact government officials.
46% say they discuss global warming with their family and friends often or occasionally.
11% has written letters, emailed, or phoned government officials about global warming at least once in the past 12 months.