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Two-thirds of Floridians Concerned About Climate Change and Feel Government Isn’t Doing Enough to Address Impacts

Sixty-eight percent support teaching about climate change in the schools

Published on October 30, 2019

More than two-thirds of Floridians say that climate change has them concerned about the well-being of future generations in Florida and do not feel government is doing enough to address its impacts, according to the first-ever Florida Climate Resilience Survey conducted by the Florida Atlantic University Center for Environmental Studies (CES) in FAU’s Charles E. Schmidt College of Science, and the Business and Economics Polling Initiative (BEPI) in FAU’s College of Business.

Seasonal high tides called king tides flooded coastal neighborhoods in Hollywood last month. The worsening king tides show how sea-level rise will eventually affect coastal South Florida. Credit: Taimy Alvarez

The statewide survey, which will be conducted on a quarterly basis, shows that 68 percent of Floridians either agree or strongly agree that climate change has them concerned about the well-being of future generations in Florida. Only 28 percent said that Florida’s government (state, county and municipal) is already doing enough to address the impacts of climate change. A majority of respondents support future solar energy production in Florida (51 percent) and favor teaching climate change causes, consequences, and solutions in Florida K-12 classrooms (68 percent). Nearly half of the respondents (47 percent) are willing to pay $10 per month to strengthen Florida’s infrastructure (such as bridges, roads, stormwater systems) to weather hazards.

More than half of Floridians (56 percent) state that climate change is real and that it is largely caused by human activity, including 44 percent of Republicans, 59 percent of Independents and 70 percent of Democrats. Younger Floridians ages 18-49 are more likely to concur with the scientific consensus on climate change and its attribution to human activities (60 percent) than those ages 50-64 and 65 and over (51 and 52 percent, respectively).

Nearly 6 in 10 Floridians (59 percent) believe their household to be well-prepared for climate hazards, with survival supplies such as food, water, power generator, phone charger, and radio. However, most Floridians are moderately or extremely concerned about hurricanes becoming stronger or more frequent (65 percent), temperatures rising (61 percent) and rising sea levels (59 percent).

The business community is viewed by a large swath of the electorate (45 percent) as the group who will, through innovation and entrepreneurship, lead Floridians to successfully adapt to weather hazards.

The survey was conducted from Oct. 1-15. The sample consisted of 1,045 Floridians, 18 years of age and older, with a margin of error of +/- 3.5 percent.

SOURCE FAU Business and Economics Polling Initiative
Environmental Reporter