Climate Attitudes Differ in Rural, Suburban, and Urban Living

By Meighen Speiser
Climate change impacts all Americans, but presents itself differently in every corner of the U.S., ranging from hurricanes to droughts, superstorms and Nor’easters. To inspire more Americans to engage on the issue, we need to meet them where they live — and relate the issue to the things they care about in their Urban, Suburban, or Rural living. Our new research uncovers similarities in American climate perspectives, and important key differences, depending on the type of community in which they live. The similarities help us to understand the promising areas of common ground for engaging broad constituencies on climate change impacts and solutions. A large majority of Americans, 88% for instance, believe we have a moral responsibility to create a safe and healthy climate for ourselves and our children (87% Rural, 87% Suburban, and 90% Urban agree). But there are key differences to heed when communicating and engaging Americans on the issue — spanning perception of harm, levels of concern, and propensity to advocate. ecoAmerica and Lake Research Partners’ 2018 American Climate Metrics Survey identifies opportunities to specialize outreach in each community. See the full results of the survey HERE.

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