US public wants climate change dealt with, but doesn’t like the options

Image of an orange sky with a bridge and buildings partly obscured in the haze.

Enlarge / The East Coast has gotten the chance to experience something that’s become disturbingly familiar out west. (credit: Bloomberg Creative)

After rejoining the Paris Agreement and passing the Inflation Reduction Act, the US has committed to cutting its greenhouse gas emissions in half by the end of the decade and hitting net-zero emissions by the middle of the century. That will require significant changes in everything from household appliances and cars to how electricity is generated. Is the US public up for the challenge?

The answer is a pretty resounding “no,” according to new polling data released by the Pew Research Center. While the country generally supports things like renewable energy, there’s still strong resistance to taking personal actions like swapping out appliances. And the sizeable partisan gap in support for doing anything has persisted.

We need to do something!

In general, the US public supports action on climate change. Three-quarters of those surveyed said that the US should participate in international efforts to reduce climate change, and two-thirds say the US’ top priority should be developing alternative energy sources.

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