Climate Change in the American Mind: March 2018

5. Reducing Global Warming

5.1. A majority of Americans think humans can reduce global warming; but few are optimistic that we will.

Nearly half of Americans (49%) say humans could reduce global warming, but it’s unclear at this point whether we will do what is necessary.

Only 6% say humans can and will successfully reduce global warming. One in five (22%) say we won’t because people are unwilling to change their behavior, and 14% say humans can’t reduce global warming even if it is happening.



5.2. One in four Americans say the most important reason to reduce global warming is to provide a better life for our children and grandchildren.

One in four Americans (24%) say providing a better life for our children and grandchildren is the most important reason, for them, to reduce global warming. More than one in ten Americans say preventing the destruction of most life on the planet (16%) or protecting God’s creation (12%) is the most important reason.

Fewer than one in ten say their most important reason to reduce global warming is preventing extreme weather (8%), saving many plant and animal species from extinction (6%), improving people’s health (6%), saving many people around the world from poverty and starvation (4%), freeing us from dependence on foreign oil (3%), protecting their own health and wellbeing (3%), improving national security (2%), or creating green jobs and a stronger economy (1%) About one in seven (15%) either said this was not applicable because global warming isn’t happening (12%), or did not choose a reason (3%).