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Most Americans accept that climate change is real and worrying

The Verge: “Most Americans are worried about climate change, and many think the government should fight it, according to the results of two independent polls released this week. The surveys suggest that Americans are finally warming to the scientific consensus about climate change: that it’s real, it’s happening now, and that we are causing it — but the big question is whether that will be enough to spark real political change.

One of the surveys, called Climate Change in the American Mind, comes out of a collaboration between Yale and George Mason University. It probes how a random sample of more than 1,100 people feel about global warming — such as whether they’re worried about it, for example, and whom they think it will harm. The other survey, conducted by researchers at the University of Chicago and The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, asked roughly 1,200 people questions like whether they’d be willing to pay to fight climate change. Both surveys aimed to be nationally representative.

The results line up where the two surveys overlap: both report that around 70 percent of Americans agree climate change is real. The Climate Change in the American Mind survey finds that 69 percent of Americans say they’re “somewhat worried” about global warming. That’s the finding that stands out for Anthony Leiserowitz, director of the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication and one of the survey’s co-investigators: it’s seven percentage points higher than when people were asked the same question back in March. “We’ve never seen a shift like that before,” he told The Verge in an interview…”

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