4.1. Only one in three Americans discuss global warming with family and friends “often” or “occasionally.”
Thirty-three percent of Americans say they discuss global warming with family and friends at least occasionally, while most say they rarely or never discuss it (67%). The proportion of Americans who say they discuss global warming with family or friends is higher than it was in March 2015 by seven percentage points.
4.2. The issue of global warming is at least “somewhat” important to six in ten Americans.
A total of six in ten Americans (61%) say the issue of global warming is either “extremely” (10%), “very” (17%), or “somewhat” (34%) important to them personally. A total of four in ten (39%) say it is either “not too” (22%) or “not at all” (16%) important personally.
4.3. Only one in five Americans have thought about global warming “a lot.”
About half of Americans (47%) say they have thought about global warming before today either “a lot” (20%) or “some” (27%). More (53%) say they have thought about global warming just “a little” (37%) or “not at all” (16%). These numbers have remained relatively stable since we first conducted this survey in 2008 (see Data Tables).
4.4. Americans say schools should teach children about the causes, consequences, and potential solutions to global warming.
The Next Generation Science StandardsThe Next Generation Science Standards were developed by a collaboration of scientists and educators at the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences; the American Academy for the Advancement of Science; the National Teacher’s Association; 26 states; and Achieve (a non-profit organization). Released in 2013, the standards represent the most current, research-based method of educating K-12 students in STEM and preparing them for STEM careers. See: http://www.nextgenscience.org/ for K-12 STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education in the U.S. require that climate change be included in the curriculum, a mandate that is controversial in some parts of the country. Overall, however, a large majority of Americans support teaching about global warming in schools: By a three-to-one margin, Americans say that schools should teach children about the causes, consequences, and potential solutions to global warming (76% agree “strongly” or “somewhat” versus 24% who disagree “strongly” or “somewhat”).