Most in new poll say climate change needs to be addressed now

Most in new poll say climate change needs to be addressed now
© Aaron Schwartz

Nearly 6 in 10 Americans said in a new poll that they believe immediate action is necessary on climate change, while over two-thirds said humans are capable of taking action against it.

The CBS News poll found 56 percent of respondents in favor of immediate action, with 7 in 10 saying human activity contributes to climate change and 67 saying we can do something about it. More respondents — 48 percent — said humans can slow climate change than the 19 percent who said they can stop it entirely.


Ninety-one percent of respondents acknowledged climate change is occurring. About 80 percent said they trust scientists a lot or somewhat on climate, and two-thirds said they trust local meteorologists or forecasters, according to CBS.

The poll also found a partisan split on belief in the scientific consensus that climate change is caused by human activity. A majority of self-identified Democrats agreed with the scientific consensus while a majority of Republicans said they believed there is disagreement among scientists.

Two-thirds of respondents said they believed increased production of renewable energy in their area would be a bigger boost to the job market than fossil fuel production, pollsters found, but the majority of Republican respondents said they believed fossil fuel production would be better for jobs.

A majority of Americans also said they would be willing to take several steps to reduce their personal environmental impact, including 87 percent who said they were willing to recycle more, 86 percent who said they were willing to use more energy-efficient light bulbs and 62 percent who said they would be willing to drive less. Only 31 percent said they would be willing to give up eating meat.

The poll was conducted by YouGov among a nationally representative sample of 2,143 people between Sept. 6 and 10, according to CBS. It has a 2.2-percentage-point margin of error.