Growing acceptance of climate change. Now what?

Americans are rapidly coming to accept the reality of climate change. According to two studies released late last year, some 73 percent of the public now agrees climate change is happening, an increase of 10 percentage points since a similar survey in 2015. The number of Americans who say global warming matters to them personally jumped even higher — up 9 percentage points since March 2018 — to a new record high of 72 percent overall.

Despite growing acceptance, there is no clear path forward. Close to 70 percent of Americans say they wouldn't give even $10 a month to the government to fight climate change. Forty percent wouldn't even pay a dollar.

It's a sharp disconnect, and scientists say time is running out before we hit a tipping point. What would it take to get people to act on climate change? Guest host Tiffany Hanssen spoke to two climate scientists about the studies behind the shift in perception and the science that compels action.


Waleed Abdalati — Director at the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, former chief scientist for NASA and professor in geography at the University of Colorado Boulder.

Heidi Roop — Lead scientist for science communications for the Climate Impacts Group at the University of Washington.

To listen to the full conversation you can use the audio player above.

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