Americans’ Actions to Limit Global Warming September 2012

Report Summary


  • The number of Americans who say they “always” or “often” walk or bike instead of driving is at its highest recorded level (25%) and has risen considerably since March (up 14 points). Americans today are also more likely say they use public transportation or carpool (17%), returning to a level last observed in November 2008 (18%).
  • Compact fluorescent light bulbs continue to be adopted by the American consumer, with 57 percent now reporting that most or all of the light bulbs in their home are CFLs – up from 40% in November 2008.
  • Three Americans in ten (32%) say that in the past 12 months they have given business to a company as a reward for their steps to reduce global warming. Nearly a quarter also say that in the past 12 months they have punished companies for opposing steps to reduce global warming by not purchasing their products (24%).
  • About one in ten (11%) have contacted a government official about global warming by letter, email, or phone, while 15% have volunteered or donated money to an organization working to reduce global warming.
  • Americans who contact a government official about global warming have become much more likely to urge them to take action to reduce it (89%, up 17 percentage points since 2010).
  • No matter what their personal beliefs about global warming, many Americans say they have friends who have different views than their own. In fact, more are likely to have friends who disagree than agree with them about global warming.
  • Yet, relatively few Americans say they feel uncomfortable discussing global warming with those who disagree with them.