ERI Fellow Matthew Houser found that, overall, Hoosiers believed that climate change was real and was happening. Around 80% of respondents reported believing that climate change was occurring “somewhat” or “to a great extent.”
Similarly, a majority felt that climate change will harm Indiana’s economy “somewhat” or to a “great extent” (77%) and that climate change was “already” causing harm in the United States or would by 2030 (72%). Over 65% “somewhat” or “strongly agreed” that climate change effects are greater now than five years ago, and 75% supported initiatives to address these impacts in Indiana.
In the United States, the public's view of climate change often divides along party lines, and respondents in my survey were no exception. Those identifying with more conservative parties reported lower levels of belief in and support for action on climate change across the board.
Still, a majority of Republicans – 66% – believed climate change is real, compared to 91% of Democrats, and supported initiatives to address it. A slight majority of Republicans reported that their acceptance of the reality of climate change had strengthened over the last five years. The fact that these attitudes were held by a majority of respondents of all political affiliations was the most surprising finding.
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