Climate Change in the Texan Mind

Report Summary


  • Most Texans (70%) believe global warming is happening. Relatively few (14%) believe it is not.
  • Fewer than half (44%) believe that if global warming is happening, it is caused mostly by human activities. Three in ten (31%) believe it is caused mostly by natural changes in the environment.
  • About half of Texans (52%) say they have personally experienced the effects of global warming.
  • Among Texans who believe global warming is happening, large majorities expect to see a myriad of negative effects over the next 50 years. Nearly all anticipate more heat waves (95%) and increased drought and water shortages (92%) in Texas due to global warming. More than eight in ten believe Texas will experience worse storms, hurricanes, or tornadoes (87%), declining numbers of fish and native wildlife (86%), and increased allergies, asthma, infectious diseases, or other health problems (85%) due to global warming.
  • More than half of Texans say that more should be done about global warming at all levels of government—from Congress (62%) and President Obama (57%), to Governor Perry (59%) and Texas’s state legislature (56%), to local government officials (60%).
  • Even larger numbers of Texans believe that citizens themselves (69%) and corporations and industry (68%) should be doing more to address climate change.

This report is based on findings from a statewide representative survey of Texans conducted by the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication. A total of 800 adults (18+) were interviewed by telephone July 17 to August 7, 2013. To help ensure representativeness of the final sample, the survey was administered to respondents reached on traditional landline telephones (560) as well as to those reached on cellphones (240). The average margin of error for the total sample +/- 3 percentage points at the 95% confidence level. The survey was conducted for YPCCC by Abt SRBI using random digit dial sample supplied by Survey Sampling International.