The nationwide survey shows that only a slim majority of Americans believe global warming is “a very serious problem.” Of those, many aren’t taking the green actions they support, according to the study.
“Clearly, there’s a lot left to do in raising awareness,” Edward Maibach, survey author and head of a center on climate change at George Mason University, told the USA Today. “There has been too much fear-mongering and not enough emphasis on what people can do.”
More than 11,000 Americans participated in the poll, commissioned by Porter Novelli, which shows a rift between scientific evidence and public understanding of the climate change threat. According to the study, 62 percent of participants consider global warming a serious danger.
Additionally, Maibach said that more people support green actions than take green actions.
While Democrats are three times more likely to rank global warming a serious threat than their Republican counterparts, they live only slightly greener lives.
Children of survey participants were included in the poll. In contrast to their parents, children were more apt to find global warming a serious threat and more optimistic about taking actions to reverse its effects.
People “are more enthusiastic about government and businesses doing things than doing stuff themselves,” Jon Krosnick, a Stanford University political scientist, told the USA Today.