New report finds ‘alarmed’ group doubled in size over five years, while only two in 10 Americans are ‘doubtful’ or ‘dismissive’
Maya YangThu 13 Jan 2022 05.00 EST
A new report has revealed that a record number of Americans are now alarmed about the climate crisis.
The study, published by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication, found that Americans overall are becoming increasingly worried about global heating, more engaged with the issue and more supportive of finding solutions to the issue.
The study categorized Americans into six distinct groups based on their beliefs, attitudes, policy support and behavior about climate change.
The six distinct groups are: the Alarmed, who are the most engaged and very worried about global warming; the Concerned, who think global warming is a significant threat but prioritize it less and are less likely to take action; the Cautious, who are aware of climate change but are uncertain about its causes and are not very worried; the Disengaged, who are largely unaware of global warming; the Doubtful, who doubt it is happening or human-caused and the Dismissive, who firmly reject its reality and oppose most climate change policies.Advertisement
The study revealed that the largest group, Alarmed (33%) greatly outnumber the dismissive (9%) by more than three to one. Approximately six in 10 Americans (59%) are either Alarmed or Concerned while only approximately two in 10 (19%) are Doubtful or Dismissive.
Over the last five years, the Alarmed group has nearly doubled in size, growing 15 percentage points in total. From just March 2021 to September 2021 alone, the Alarmed segment increased by 9 percentage points. Meanwhile, the Dismissive group shrank from 11% to 9% in the past five years, with only about one in 10 Americans now firmly rejecting the reality of human-caused global warming.
When the group first began its surveys in 2008, the Concerned was the largest segment. Two years later, the group decreased slightly while the Cautious grew and became roughly equally as large. On the contrary, the Alarmed was the second smallest group as recently as early 2015.
The Cautious, Doubtful and Dismissive groups have all shrunk in recent years.
“The growth of the Alarmed segment … is encouraging because progress on climate change requires strong, coordinated, and sustained action, and the Alarmed are the most likely to demand and support these actions by leaders,” the study said.