New Earth Day Poll Reveals What Sacrifices Americans Would Make in Saving the Planet

Image of World Earth Day 2021
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When asked about making personal sacrifices to help the environment, the responses varied depending on the person or party asked, but overall younger adults feel a greater willingness to make changes in their lives compared to older Americans.

Happy Earth Day 2021, a day when people all over the world come together to activate the environmental movement and drive positive change for our planet. The results of a recent CBS News poll, Eye On Earth, show that a majority of Americans feel some call of duty in taking care of the environment for future generations and are willing to make some sacrifices in order to achieve that.

When the poll asked to choose between general approaches toward the environment and climate change, 58% of Americans think people should try to do things to shape and change it, while 42% think people should simply learn to adapt to what happens and make the best of it. 

When asked about making sacrifices, the responses varied depending on the person or party asked, but overall younger adults feel a greater willingness to make many of these sacrifices compared to older Americans.

Additional findings revealed that Republicans tended to be less willing to make specific sacrifices to stop climate change. They showed resistance to paying more money either in taxes or for electricity and other utilities but were willing to install solar panels in their home.

Democrats on the other hand were all in. With the exception of giving up red meat, most would be willing to do whatever it takes to save the planet including taking public transportation, paying more for utilities, and paying higher taxes.

According to the survey, the top two measures the majority of Americans would take to battle climate change are to install solar panels in their home (64%) and drive less (57%). 

Some additional survey results to share: More than half of Americans approve of the way President Biden is handling the issue of climate change; 66% are trying to stop climate change because they want to preserve the Earth’s environment; 62% have business interests in alternative energy sources; and, for those who oppose environmental efforts and policies to stop climate change, 44% of Americans said they don’t trust science.

The CBS News survey that was conducted by YouGov interviewed 2,003 U.S. residents between April 13 through April 16. This sample was weighted according to gender, age, race, and education based on the American Community Survey, conducted by the U.S. Bureau of the Census, as well as the 2020 presidential vote and registration status.

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