Hoosier Life Survey Summary Report

What You’ve Heard

How informed do Hoosiers feel?

We asked Hoosiers how well-informed they feel about the risks from extreme weather, a key impact of climate change, and the strategies or solutions needed to face them. While most respondents have some idea of what changes in household practice or public policy might improve resilience, they told us that they feel better-informed about the facts of climate-related problems than they do about how to respond to those challenges (Figure 1).

Figure 1: Few Hoosiers feel well informed about how to prepare for climate-related extreme weather events

Question: How well-informed do you feel about the following?

Response optionsExtreme weather events that may affect me or my familyHousehold practices to reduce risks from extreme weather eventsPrograms or policies that can reduce the risks future extreme weather
Not at all informed3%7%17%
Slightly informed16%31%40%
Moderately informed54%47%34%
Very informed28%16%10%

SPOTLIGHT: The role of age in shaping how informed Hoosiers feel about extreme weather

While most Hoosiers do not feel “very informed” about the risks associated with weather extremes and even fewer feel “very informed” about how to prepare for these events, there are some clear differences in who feels this way among Indiana residents. Older Hoosiers are more likely than younger Hoosiers to feel very informed about these risks and the policies to deal with them (Figure 2).

Moving forward, it will be important to determine if older Hoosiers are actually accurately informed about the risks from extreme weather events, as many extremes to come (such as greater frequency and intensity of heat waves) pose a more significant risk to older individuals. Given that fewer older Hoosiers feel very informed about how to deal with extreme events, more outreach and resources may be needed to help this already vulnerable population prepare.

Figure 2: Older Hoosiers more likely to feel "very informed" about extreme weather risks and Policies to prepare for them

Question: How well-informed do you feel about the following?

Response options% very informed about risks from extreme weather% very informed about household practices to reduce risks from extreme weather events% very informed about programs and policies that can reduce the risk from future weather extremes
Ages 18-2218%12%9%
Ages 23-3818%9%7%
Ages 39-5432%20%11%
Ages 55-7335%19%12%
Ages 74 and over39%15%15%
Average across all Hoosiers30%14%9%

Whom do Hoosiers trust?

We asked Hoosiers whom they trusted to provide reliable information on how to prepare for the impact of extreme weather events. They registered their highest level of distrust toward local officials; their highest level of trust, by far, lay in their own judgment. Scientific communities comprised their next most trusted source of information on how to prepare for future climate impacts, followed by family, friends and neighbors, and the media (see Figure 3).

Figure 3: Hoosiers most trust their own judgment, and then scientists, when it comes to getting information about preparing for extreme weather

Question: How much do you trust each of the following sources to provide you with information about how to prepare for extreme weather?

Response optionsMy family, friends, and neighborsMedia sourcesLocal public officialsState public officials
Don't trust at all5%10%16%13%
Trust some57%63%60%56%
Trust a lot36%26%19%26%
Don't know3%1%6%5%
Figure 3 (continued)
Response optionsIndiana-based scientistsNationally or internationally-based scientistsMy own judgement
Don't trust at all7%10%4%
Trust some47%46%38%
Trust a lot35%37%55%
Don't know11%7%3%

SPOTLIGHT: Community type of trust in information sources

Whom Hoosiers trust for information about how to prepare for the impacts of climate change, such as extreme weather events, will shape how or even if they prepare.

Individuals we surveyed who identified their community as “urban” were much more likely to trust scientists “a lot” for information about how to prepare for the impacts of extreme weather than those in rural areas. “Rural” and “urban” Hoosiers were both more likely than suburban and small-town Hoosiers to trust their “own judgement” a lot. These results suggest that expert-driven outreach may be an effective way to connect urban residents with resilience planning information, but be less influential in rural communities. Efforts that allow rural residents make up their own mind, such as connecting with local stakeholders or holding community meetings or dialogues, may be more a impactful form of outreach with residents of rural communities. 

Figure 4: Trust in information source differs by type of community

Percentage trusting each source "a lot" to provide them with information about preparing for future weather extremes

Response optionsRuralSmall townSuburbanUrban
Trust family, friends and neighbors a lot36%36%35%37%
Trust media sources a lot24%24%27%31%
Trust local public officials a lot16%20%17%26%
Trust state public officials a lot24%28%34%26%
Trust Indiana scientists a lot28%35%37%43%
Trust national or international scientists a lot27%37%41%48%
Trust my own judgment a lot60%53%50%60%

You and the Environment

Beliefs about climate change

Most Hoosiers believe that climate change is happening—both from their own experience and from what they understand as the scientific consensus. They are less unified in their assessment of the source of this change—whether it comes from natural, human, or some combination of natural and human causes. Roughly eight out of ten of those who believe that the climate is changing also believe that this change is at least to some extent related to human activity. Yet, as figure 6 shows, not all of those who see human activity as playing a role in climate change believe our actions are the primary cause.

Figure 5: Most Hoosiers think climate change is happening

Percentage expressing their belief about if climate change is happening

Response optionsIs climate change happening?
No14%
Yes75%
Don't know11%
Figure 6: Excluding those who do not believe the climate is changing, nearly 80% of Hoosiers who believe that humans play a causal role to at least some degree

Percentage expressing what they believe is causing climate change; results exclude those who do not believe the climate is changing (N=1,295)

Response optionsDo you think climate change is caused...
Entirely or mostly by human activities39%
Equally by natural and human activities40%
Entirely or mostly by natural causes10%
I am uncertain what is causing the climate to change11%
Figure 7: Scientific consensus not recognized by 1/3 of Hoosiers

Percentage responding to: which comes closest to your own view about scientific understandings of climate change?

Response optionsHow do Hooisers perceive scientific census on climate change?
Most scientists think climate change is happening57%
There is a lot of disagreement among scientists about whether or not climate change is happening28%
Most scientists think climate change is not happening2%
Don't know enough to say14%
SPOTLIGHT: Climate change in the media and Hoosiers’ awareness of scientific consensus

Over 97 percent of climate scientists agree climate change is happening and caused by humans (Cook et al. 2016). Yet, nearly one-third of Hoosiers perceive much disagreement among scientists (Figure 7). Hearing about climate change more frequently appears to be associated with being more likely to correctly recognize scientific consensus (Figure 8).

This finding may suggest that greater communication and outreach efforts could encourage more widespread recognition of the reality of the climate crisis. 

Figure 8: Greater media consumption associated with greater recognition of scientific consensus

Perception of scientific consensus by frequency of climate change media consumption.

Response optionsNeverSeveral times a year or less, but not neverAt least once a month, but less than once a weekWeeklyDaily
Most scientists think climate change is happening39%49%54%59%57%
There is a lot of disagreement among scientists about whether or not climate change is happening5%32%29%29%28%
Most scientists think climate change is not happening>1%>1%2%3%2%
Don't know enough to say56%19%16%16%14%

What impacts are Hoosiers experiencing?

We wanted to know whether and how Hoosiers have directly experienced a range of symptoms of extreme weather or environmental change. We found that, while nearly 80 percent of Hoosiers believe climate change is occurring, relatively few feel that they have witnessed such changes within their own communities (Figure 9). This contrast suggests that perceived personal experience is not the dominant driver of belief in the occurrence of climate change. Overall, most of our respondents think that such conditions have remained about the same in their own area; a small percentage of respondents believe that they have even decreased. We also note that Hoosiers have observed the rise of a few particular symptoms of environmental change more than others: around 30 percent of our survey-takers identified heat waves, heavy rains, or mosquitoes as having increased in their own communities. Interestingly, almost 30 percent of Hoosiers also reported an increase in extreme cold temperatures, which is contradicted by evidence showing that the occurrence of cold events has declined since 1915 (Widhalm et al. 2018).

Figure 9: The environmental changes that Hoosiers see varies considerably by type of change

Percentage reporting how the occurrence of each event or insect prevalence has changed over time in their community

Response optionsHeavy rainsFloodsTornadoesDroughtsHeat waves
Less7%16%21%17%6%
About the same60%52%58%57%51%
More28%21%10%14%36%
Don't know5%12%12%12%7%
Figure 9 (continued)
Response optionsExtreme coldSevere windTicksMosquitoes
Less11%6%9%9%
About the same54%58%44%43%
More29%29%19%36%
Don't know6%7%28%12%

What impacts are Hoosiers anticipating?

We asked our respondents if they think that their communities will be affected by severe climate stresses in the coming decades. Very few Hoosiers felt that climate change-related impacts will decrease in the future. The two adverse conditions that respondents identified as more likely to increase than simply to stay about the same are the incidence of heat waves and the presence of mosquitoes and ticks (Figure 10).

Figure 10: Many Hoosiers anticipate impacts of climate change will grow in the future

Percentage reporting their expectations for how the occurrence of each event or insect prevalence will change in the future in their community

Response optionsDestructive floodsDangerous Heat wavesDangerously cold temperatures
Will decrease5%2%6%
Will stay about the same51%41%45%
Will increase29%46%38%
Don't know15%11%12%
Figure 10 (continued)
Response optionsDiseases caused by ticks or mosquitoesDestructive DroughtsDamaging winds or tornadoes
Will decrease5%4%3%
Will stay about the same34%48%49%
Will increase45%31%36%
Don't know16%17%12%
SPOTLIGHT: Climate change beliefs and expectations for future changes

What Hoosiers expect to come in the future may shape how they choose to prepare today. While many in Indiana anticipate that the accelerating impacts of climate change will touch their community, individuals’ beliefs about climate change shape the extent to which they anticipate these impacts.

In figure 11, we show that Hoosiers who do not believe climate change is occurring now, or those who do not feel it is caused by human activity to any extent, are much less likely to anticipate future climate change-related impacts. Interestingly, Hoosiers' expectations for greater prevalence of tick and mosquito-related disease were not as tied to climate change beliefs as expectations for other changes.

Figure 11: Hoosiers' expectations for future changes tied to their climate change beliefs

Percentage saying each impact "will increase" in their community in the future

Response optionsEntirely or mostly by human activitiesEqually by natural and human activitiesEntirely or mostly by natural causesI am uncertain what is causing climate to changeClimate change is not happening
Destructive Floods50%26%5%22%7%
Dangerous heat waves76%44%13%29%10%
Dangerously cold temperatures59%33%21%30%9%
Diseases caused by ticks or mosquitoes59%46%30%37%22%
Destructive droughts53%30%7%15%5%
Damaging winds or tornadoes59%33%17%26%6%
Figure 12: Few Hoosiers anticipated being impacted by major disease outbreak in next decade, most concerned about the economy

Question: How likely do you think it is that your family will be harmed by any of the following possible events?

Response optionsMajor disease outbreakGovernment ShutdownExtreme WeatherEconomic crisis
Very unlikely16%5%8%3%
Unlikely36%15%19%14%
Feel neutral25%28%25%21%
Likely14%28%27%33%
Very likely4%21%16%23%

What crises are Hoosiers anticipating?

We asked survey respondents how likely, in their estimation, it was that within the next decade that their family’s well-being would be impacted by a variety of major events: extreme weather, government shutdown, economic crisis or major disease outbreak. Economic crisis (23 percent) and government shutdown (21 percent) were the events that respondents were most likely to feel were “very likely” to impact them in this timeframe. It is also clear that when our respondents received their surveys in the fall of 2019, few were anticipating that in only a few months the world would experience the spread of a deadly virus such as COVID-19. Indeed, a major disease outbreak was the event least anticipated by our respondents. Over half (52 percent) of the Hoosiers we surveyed felt it was “unlikely’ or “very unlikely” that a major disease outbreak would impact them in the next decade (results not shown), with only 4 percent of the state feeling this type of event was “very likely” to harm them (Figure 12).

SPOTLIGHT: COVID-19 and Hoosiers’ expectations about future crises

At the time of this report, COVID-19 has been particularly impactful on major cities across the United States, including Indianapolis. Despite being Indiana’s current epicenter for the disease’s outbreak, our results suggest that when compared with residents of other cities, towns, and regions of the state, Indianapolis residents were on average the less likely to expect their family’s lives to be impacted by a major disease outbreak over the next 10 years (Figure 13).

However, upon a closer look, we see a stark divide based on household income among the city’s residents. Lower-income Hoosiers living in Indianapolis, defined by earning $0-$44,999 annually, were more likely to expect to be harmed by a major disease outbreak than those in the same income bracket who lived in other areas of the state (27 percent to 19 percent respectively, Figure 14). In contrast, respondents in middle-to-high income households in Indianapolis were less likely than those in other regions with the same income to expect this event (10 percent compared to 18 percent respectively). As some recent evidence suggests, lower-income individuals are more at risk from COVID-19 for a variety of reasons (Mansoor, 2020). Our results imply that, in Indiana and especially Indianapolis, lower-income individuals were also more likely to expect to suffer from this type of crises, among other impacts (see also figure 18).

Figure 13: Indianapolis residents were less likely to expect a major disease outbreak than those residing in other areas

Question: How likely do you think it is that your family will be harmed by any of the following possible events? Information is based on the respondent's place of residence

Response optionsMetro IndianapolisAll other areas of the state
Very unlikely17%15%
Unlikely44%35%
Feel neutral24%25%
Likely9%15%
Very likely3%44%
Figure 14: Income differences shape how likely Indianapolis residents felt major disease outbreak was

Percentage expecting that a major disease outbreak was "likely" or "very likely" to impact their family in the next 10 years

Response optionsMetro Indianapolis low incomeMetro Indianapolis middle-high incomeAll other areas of the state low incomeAll other areas of the state middle-high income
Very unlikely13%16%14%18%
Unlikely31%48%29%36%
Feel neutral25%25%27%24%
Likely16%7%13%15%
Very likely11%3%5%4%
Don't know5%1%12%4%

How concerned are Hoosiers?

A majority of Hoosiers anticipate that climate change will harm the people, plants, and animals of Indiana. Most agree, too, that climate change is already adversely affecting other Americans (Figure 15). Almost 30 percent believe that these changes will affect the people of Indiana a “great deal,” with only around 15 percent believing that they will be personally harmed “a great deal” (Figure 16). Few tend to believe that the majority of Hoosiers in their community are concerned about the potential dangers of extreme weather events (Figure 17).

Figure 15: Majority of Hoosiers think climate change is harming people in the United States now

Percentage responding to: When will climate change harm people in the US?; results exclude those who do not believe climate change is happening (n=1,295)

Response optionsWhen will climate change harm people in the US?
They are being harmed58%
In 10 years11%
In 25 years11%
In 50 years8%
In 100 years7%
Never5%
Figure 16: Many Hoosiers expect climate change will harm Indiana species, residents or themselves

Percentage reporting the amount of harm climate change will cause to the following areas; results exclude those who do not believe climate change is happening (n=1,295)

Response optionsIndiana plants and animalsPeople in IndianaMe personally
Not at all3%3%10%
Only a little10%12%21%
A moderate amount36%42%36%
A great deal39%27%15%
Don't know12%16%18%
Figure 17: How many people do Hoosiers believe are concerned about the risk posed by weather extremes in their community?
Response optionsConcerned about the risks extreme weather events pose to the community
None10%
Some37%
Most15%
All2%
Don't know37%
SPOTLIGHT: Income and perceived risk from climate change

Lower-income households are among the most at-risk from climate change. Limited economic resources constrain their capacity to adapt their homes or lifestyles to new risks, and often they are already more exposed to environmental risks, such as pollution from industrial production (Tol et al. 2004).

Perhaps reflecting these circumstances, Hoosiers in lower-income households are more likely to perceive that climate change will harm them personally a “great deal” than those in high-income households (Figure 18). Lower-income populations, therefore, may require less emphasis on the need to prepare for climate change and
could benefit from programs and policies that provide resources which enable these communities to act on their already higher level of personal concern.

Figure 18: Lower income Hoosiers more likely to believe climate change will personally harm them "a great deal"

Percentage expressing to what degree theyt expect climate change will personally harm them; results include only those who believe the climate is changing (n=1,295) and is based on the respondent's household income

Response options$0 - $24,999$25,000 - $44,999$45,000 - $74,999$75,000 - $114,999$115,000+
Not at all3%9%11%9%17%
Only a little11%17%23%25%25%
A moderate amount41%35%34%38%36%
A great deal21%16%17%13%10%
Don't know25%23%16%16%12%

What You Do

Are Hoosiers taking action at home?

We looked at people’s household responses to the impact of adverse climate conditions, asking both what they currently do and what they might like to do in the future. Their answers reveal that some basic practices for reducing energy consumption and mitigating the impact of heat and cold, such as use of shade trees, improved insulation, and high-efficiency light bulbs, are already in common use (Figure 20 and 21). Other practices, such as installation of solar panels, registered significant interest among Hoosiers as a potential future household activity (Figure 21).

Figure 20: What climate-resilience activities are Hoosiers personally doing?
Response optionsHave flood insurance coverageUse fans (ceiling, box, etc.) to cool my homeGrow food (fruit trees, vegetable garden, etc.)Set temperature on my water heater to 120° or belowReplace incandescent bulbs with more efficient bulbsCompost food waste
Never did, don't want to45%4%20%12%5%46%
Used to, but no longer do5%6%18%3%4%9%
Not currently doing, but considering it14%2%25%12%7%26%
Currently do this21%88%37%53%83%16%
Don't know15%0%1%20%1%4%
Figure 21: What household practices are Hoosiers currently using or interested in using that would affect their home's preparedness for climate change?

Includes only homeowners (n=1,122)

Response optionsShade trees to cool my home in summerImproved insulation (windows, attic, etc.) to reduce energy useGardens to hold and soak in rainwater (a rain garden)A programmable thermostat to reduce energy useSolar panels to reduce carbon dioxide emissions
No, don’t want to16%2%35%12%39%
No, but would like to18%26%34%21%54%
Yes, currently using65%70%25%65%2%
Don't know1%2%6%1%5%
Figure 21 (continued)
Response optionsPrairie grasses/wildflowers in my yard to reduce lawn sizePavement that absorbs water on my driveway or sidewalk ("water-permeable pavement")Rainwater barrels to collect water runoffTree removal to reduce my home's risks from high winds/tornadoes
No, don’t want to52%41%44%45%
No, but would like to23%32%42%20%
Yes, currently using19%11%9%30%
Don't know6%16%6%5%
SPOTLIGHT: Rural Hoosiers and interest in solar panels

Solar panels are a key means to reduce emissions from homes, while also providing greater resilience to the potential increase in severe storm-related power outages in the Midwest. Despite the fact that rural Hoosiers were less than half as likely as urban Hoosiers to believe climate change is caused by humans (22 percent versus 43 percent respectively), they were roughly equally likely to have installed or currently wish to install solar panels on their homes. Importantly, the question specified that the solar panels would “reduce carbon dioxide emissions” (Figure 22).

Whether rural residents specifically wanted to use solar panels for this reason or desired to add them for a different benefit, such as energy independence or lower power-costs, is unclear at this time. What this finding does suggest is that people across the state want to add solar panels—even those in rural areas who may not hold views about climate change that accord with scientific evidence. Policy that supports this effort could have significant impacts in terms of reducing Indiana’s greenhouse gas emissions and increasing the resilience of our energy grid.

Figure 22: Urban and rural Hoosiers express desire for solar panels on their homes

Percentage stating their openness to installing solar panels at their home to reduce carbon dioxide emissions; includes only homeowners (n=1,122)

Response optionsRuralSmall townSuburbanUrban
No, don’t want to38%46%35%34%
No, but would like to53%48%59%59%
Yes, currently using4%2%0%1%
Don't know5%4%6%7%

Do Hoosiers perceive others in their community to be acting?

Despite the commonness of people’s reported efforts (or desires) to improve their home’s resilience in the face of a changing climate, only a very limited number of Hoosiers (6 percent) assumed that “most” other residents of their communities had taken the same precautions, and the majority (75 percent) perceived that the number of their neighbors taking these actions was not increasing (Figure 23). 

Figure 23: Hoosiers assume few community members are taking household-resilience actions

Questions related to respondent's perception of their community

Figure 23: Current numbers
Response optionsThe number of community members taking steps to protect their homes from future extreme weather events
None15%
Some38%
Most6%
All1%
Figure 23: Over time
Response optionsOver time, the number of community members taking steps to protect their homes is…
Don't know40%
Decreasing5%
Staying about the same75%
Increasing20%

What climate-related programs and policies do Hoosiers support?

Beyond the level of particular household practices, Hoosiers also offered their thoughts on the efficacy of wider-scale efforts to prepare for extreme weather events. Given a wide range of options toward which to apply hypothetical tax dollars, HLS respondents favored a combination of conservation-oriented measures (such as replacing paved areas with water-absorbent landscapes) and engineering-based solutions, such as building higher floodwalls to prevent flooding or extending additional pipelines to minimize the impact of drought. In other words, a significant number of Hoosiers tend to favor some government assistance in ameliorating the adverse impacts of environmental change—but respondents show no clear preference for solutions that may favor long-term resilience over shorter-term relief. Below, in figure 24, we categorize the survey’s proposed policies and programs by two groups: Short-term fixes and long-term solutions. Short-term fixes, as the name implies, provide risk-reduction benefits, but likely increase future risks by accelerating environmental harms or failing to alter key risky behaviors. Many long-term solutions may be harder to implement, but ultimately provide greater resilience in that they promote changes to our existing, environmentally harmful behavior. At this point, we cannot conclude there are any differences in Hoosiers’ support for resilience policy and practices based on these categories.

Figure 24: What climate-resilience policies and programs do Hoosiers support?

Question: If Indiana were to seek tax money to reduce the risk of extreme weather, how would you like to see that money used in your community?

Response optionsUse public funding so all residents can afford air conditioningExpand local reservoirs or extend more pipelines to other water sourcesBuild stronger and higher flood walls where necessaryIncrease pesticide treatments to reduce health risks from ticks and mosquitoesRequire residents to use less water during droughts
Strongly oppose19%4%5%8%10%
Somewhat oppose17%10%7%15%10%
Somewhat support36%44%42%36%41%
Strongly support19%27%38%34%34%
Unsure9%15%8%7%6%
Figure 24 (continued)
Response optionsReplace some paved areas with water-absorbent landscapePlant more trees on town streets to reduce impacts of flooding and heat wavesMandate that key services be scheduled for cooler evening hoursImplement a buyout program for flood-prone propertiesProvide vulnerable populations with free health services during heat waves
Strongly oppose8%4%19%11%10%
Somewhat oppose6%6%22%17%13%
Somewhat support45%35%26%34%36%
Strongly support33%51%16%15%35%
Unsure8%6%17%23%8%
Figure 24 (continued)
Response optionsConstruct new transportation routes to reduce the impact of floodingAdopt a text-based early warning system to reduce risks from heat wavesConstruct more bike lanes/routes to reduce carbon dioxide emissionsOffer public funding to help residents install solar panelsProvide repellent and education sessions to reduce health risks from ticks and mosquitoes
Strongly oppose9%6%10%10%8%
Somewhat oppose15%7%13%10%12%
Somewhat support39%42%36%32%42%
Strongly support21%39%33%42%33%
Unsure18%6%7%7%6%
Figure 24 (continued)
Response optionsUse funding to help residents plant shade trees around their homesUse funding to help residents place water-absorbent landscaping around homesInstall more electric vehicle charging stationsIncrease funding for emergency management servicesExpand access to public transportation to reduce emissions
Strongly oppose11%14%11%5%6%
Somewhat oppose16%16%13%10%11%
Somewhat support36%35%36%41%39%
Strongly support30%25%25%37%35%
Unsure8%10%16%8%9%

Who should pay for climate policy in Indiana?

Because all of the above questions assumed the existence of public funds, we also asked our survey respondents who they thought should bear the cost of such initiatives (Figure 25). Nearly half said that such funds could be levied in the form of a statewide income tax increase of up to 1 percent. Well over half reported that they would support such a tax—if it were levied solely on households earning more than $165,000 per year (roughly three times the state’s current median household income). And a greater majority, still, said that they would favor such a tax if it were levied specifically on corporations, in proportion to the degree to which they are responsible for emissions of pollution. Yet despite these signs of statewide support, we found that only 7 percent of Hoosiers felt that “most” of their fellow community members would be likely to support additional tax levies earmarked for the purpose of addressing climate risk, and half reported they “don’t know” how their community feels about these taxes. This contrast may suggest that many in Indiana are not discussing these issues with their neighbors. Similarly, the vast majority of respondents (72 percent) felt the number of their community members supportive of these taxes was not changing (Figure 26).

Figure 25: Who should pay for climate resilience policy in the state?

Level of public support for distributing the burden of a hypothetical tax to address extreme weather events facing the state

Response optionsA tax increase on corporations and companies, where those that pollute more in the state pay moreA 1% income tax increase only on state residents who earn over $165,000 a yearA less than 1% income tax increase on all state residents
Strongly oppose8%18%11%
Somewhat oppose5%10%26%
Feel neutral4%7%18%
Somewhat support20%24%31%
Strongly support63%41%14%
Figure 26: Many "Don't know" how their community views climate-related policy, few feel support is increasing

Questions related to respondent's perception of their community

Figure 26: Current numbers

The current number of community members supportive of using tax money on policies or projects that protect the community from future extreme weather events

Response optionsThe number of community members supportive of using tax money on policies or projects that protect the community from future extreme weather events:
None13%
Some29%
Most7%
All1%
Don't know50%
Figure 26: Over time

Over time, the number of people supportive of using tax money on policies or projects is...

Response optionsThe number of people supportive of using tax money on policies or projects is…
Decreasing14%
Staying about the same72%
Increasing14%
SPOTLIGHT: Politics and Taxes

Political ideology is among the most significant factors shaping how Americans view the issue of climate change (McCright et al. 2016). While this fact remains true among Hoosiers and in our data, some measures to address weather extremes receive majority support from the public regardless of their personal politics.

Addressing climate change, and its impacts, requires state-level action and likely new revenue streams to fund these actions. Toward this end, the majority of Hoosiers from all political affiliations—when faced with a situation that demanded increased public funding—supported raising a tax on businesses based on the amount of pollution they create (Figure 27). This should not be viewed as a question about the viability of the policy so much as it is a way of gauging the relative support for who Hoosiers feel should pay for addressing environmental risks in the state.

Figure 27: Majority of Hoosiers from all political affiliations support taxing polluters to address weather-related risks"

Question: To address extreme weather facing the state, how much would you support a tax increase on corporations and companies, where those pollute the most pay the most, based on respondent's political affiliation

Response optionsRepublicanIndependent, lean RepublicanIndependentIndependent, lean DemocratDemocrat
Strongly oppose10%13%11%0%1%
Somewhat oppose8%9%5%0%2%
Feel neutral4%3%6%2%2%
Somewhat support28%27%17%15%13%
Strongly support51%49%61%83%82%