• Polling

Communicating About Climate Change and Exteme Weather

Thursday, July 29, 2021 By Bryan Bennett
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Welcome to NAVIGATOR – a project designed to better understand the American public’s views on issues of the day and help advocates, elected officials, and other interested parties understand the language, imagery, and messaging needed to make and win key policy arguments.

Key takeaways

  • Seven in ten say climate change is a major crisis or problem.
  • Nearly half of Americans say their community’s weather this summer differs from that of past summers, including hotter weather caused by climate change.
  • A rebuttal focused on the daily impacts felt from climate change is more effective than focusing on casualties and extreme weather when responding to those who say we shouldn’t invest in tackling climate change.


Seven in Ten Americans Recognize Climate Change as a Crisis or Major Problem

Nine in ten Democrats (89%) and three in four independents (74%) say climate change is a “major crisis” or “major problem,” while just 46% of Republicans say the same.

Biden and Democrats Are Much More Trusted on Issues Related to the Environment Than Republicans

Among independents, Biden and Democrats are more trusted to protect the environment by 26 points and to address climate change by 34 points.

Nearly Half Say Weather This Summer Different From Past Years

At least half of Democrats and independents say this summer’s weather globally is different from summers past.

  • For Americans who live in the Northeast and West, majorities say their community’s weather is different than years past and even higher shares in each region say the same of global weather.

Extreme Weather Including Excessive Heat, Droughts, and Wildfires Seen as More Frequent; Most Blame Climate Change

Among the 47% who say this summer’s weather in their community differs from past summers’, most cite hotter weather as the differentiator and two in three blame temperatures rising as a result of climate change.

Grounding Climate Change in Its Impact on Daily Life for Americans Is Most Effective

A progressive argument that that rebuts a conservative statement by focusing on the casualties caused by climate change is more effective by double digits than the opposing argument, but an argument pointing to the effects of climate change on daily life including homes and small businesses is more effective by a net 6 points.

About The Study

This release features findings from a national online survey of 1,000 registered voters conducted July 15-19, 2021. Additional interviews were conducted among 100 Hispanic voters, 101 African American voters, 100 independents without a partisan lean, and 71 Asian American and Pacific Islander voters.

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About Navigator

In a world where the news cycle is the length of a tweet, our leaders often lack the real-time public-sentiment analysis to shape the best approaches to talking about the issues that matter the most. Navigator is designed to act as a consistent, flexible, responsive tool to inform policy debates by conducting research and reliable guidance to inform allies, elected leaders, and the press. Navigator is a project led by pollsters from Global Strategy Group and GBAO along with an advisory committee, including: Andrea Purse, progressive strategist; Arkadi Gerney, The Hub Project; Joel Payne, The Hub Project; Christina Reynolds, EMILY’s List; Delvone Michael, Working Families; Felicia Wong, Roosevelt Institute; Mike Podhorzer, AFL-CIO; Jesse Ferguson, progressive strategist; Navin Nayak, Center for American Progress Action Fund; Stephanie Valencia, EquisLabs; and Melanie Newman, Planned Parenthood Action Fund.

For press inquiries contact: press@navigatorresearch.org