U.S. Citizens Aware About Climatic Impacts But Not That Concerned,
U.S. Citizens Aware About Climatic Impacts But Not That Concerned, Study Finds Freepik

Earth Day takes place on every April 22nd since 1970, marking a global event that aims to highlight the importance of protecting the environment.

In this context, a new study by Gallup showed on Monday that almost six in ten people in the U.S. (59%) believe that the effects of global warming are already being felt by humanity, but 55% do not think it will pose a serious threat in their own lifetime.

This year, Gallup revealed some key findings from its annual Environment poll, which explores Americans' perceptions about climate change, awareness of record-breaking temperatures, and their priorities and concerns regarding specific environmental problems.

The survey, conducted between March and March 20, found that 42% of Americans worry "a great deal" about global warming or climate change, while 20% say they did "a fair amount," 16% "only a little," and 22% "not at all."

The prevailing concern seems directed towards future generations, even as 59% of Americans acknowledge the onset of global warming, as per the survey findings.

At the present, however, the quality of the environment ranked relatively low among Americans' concerns. When asked about the foremost issues facing the nation, environmental quality was at the lower bottom of the list, with only 37% expressing significant worry.

Not among the top concerns
Not among the top concerns Gallup

This figure stands in stark contrast to the much higher levels of concern expressed for other issues such as inflation (55%), crime and violence (53%), and hunger and homelessness (52%). Additionally, more than half of Americans are troubled by concerns related to the economy, healthcare, and federal spending.

The environment ranks twelfth in the list, closely tied with energy (37%), race relations (35%), and unemployment (33%) as issues generating the least concern at the moment.

The poll also tracked the participants' level of awareness regarding climate change.

The vast majority (83%) said they understood it very well or fairly well, and 68% of respondents have heard about 2023 being the hottest year on record.

This percentage is slightly higher than the 63% measured in 2016, the last time Gallup asked about the world hitting a new annual temperature high, the pollster indicated.

When prompted to assess their level of concern regarding various environmental threats, a majority of adults (56%) said they were significantly worried about the pollution of drinking water in the U.S. This issue retains its position as their foremost environmental concern among the seven problems evaluated in the 2024 poll.

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