Younger Americans Disengaged About Climate Change, Survey Says


Although they have grown up during an era when global warming has emerged as a major issue, Americans between the ages of 18 and 34 are relatively apathetic about the threat, according to a new survey.

And even when they do think about it, young Americans are just as divided as older Americans about whether global warming is real, according to results of the survey conducted by the Yale Project on Climate Change and the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication.

Adults under 35 are significantly less likely than older Americans to say they have thought about global warming, with 22 percent saying they have never thought about the issue.

Only 38 percent of younger Americans say they had previously thought about global warming either “a lot” or “some,” compared to 51 percent of those aged 35 to 59.

And 54 percent of Americans aged 18 to 34 said they were not at all worried or not very worried about global warming. Sixty-one percent of younger Americans said that most of their friends were generally not taking actions to reduce global warming.

And nearly two-thirds of younger Americans are unsure whether global warming is real, with 20 percent saying they didn’t know enough to make a judgment and 40 percent saying that there is a lot of disagreement among scientists on the issue.

Article appearing courtesy Yale Environment 360.

photo: NASA Visible Earth

About Author

Yale Environment 360 is an online magazine offering opinion, analysis, reporting and debate on global environmental issues. We feature original articles by scientists, journalists, environmentalists, academics, policy makers, and business people, as well as multimedia content and a daily digest of major environmental news. Yale Environment 360 is published by the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and Yale University. We are funded in part by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The opinions and views expressed in Yale Environment 360 are those of the authors and not of the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies or of Yale University.

1 Comment

  1. Sabrina Hill on

    It won’t matter to them until they can’t leave the house without a rebreather on, and by then it will be too late.