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Americans vastly underestimate support for climate action

By Nicholas Gerbis
Published: Wednesday, August 24, 2022 - 4:44pm
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With the divisive rhetoric around climate change, it’s natural to assume support for policy measures might be on the low side.

But new research in the journal Nature Communications shows that’s a mistaken assumption.

In a representative survey of more than 6,000 Americans, 80%-90% of respondents thought only around one-third supported transformative climate policies such as a mandate for 100% renewable electricity.

In truth, the authors say, 66%–80% support such policies.

Research has shown that such misperceptions, sometimes called “pluralistic ignorance,” can lead to false conclusions about majority beliefs.

Since shared moral values and threats affect whether people take collective action, setting the record straight could prove essential for climate course correction.

Science Sustainability Climate Change