It’s nearly summer now, but we just emerged from one of the most extreme winters in recent history — record warm temperatures along the Western United States and record snowfall along the East.
A parade of scientists in the media have been saying this winter was a strong signal that global warming is producing more extreme weather, but Americans are still divided on the issue, according to according to our exclusive Rare Under 40 poll that takes a comprehensive look at the opinions of young people.
The majority of young people (71 percent) do not believe climate change is a hoax, but just 46 percent of respondents under 40 say the world is experiencing extreme weather caused by climate change. Only 30 percent of young Republicans think there is extreme weather caused by climate change, and only 16 percent of respondents who identify as evangelical Christians do.
However, the majority of people under 40 do think climate change will affect them in their lifetimes (53 percent), more so than respondents over 40 (47 percent). Of young Americans who identify their religion as “other,” a whopping 70 percent think they’ll witness the effects of climate change.
Americans’ views about climate change have held steady the past few years according to Gallup and other national surveys. Most Americans believe the strange weather, especially this most recent winter, reflects natural variations, not global warming — and the results of the Rare Under 40 poll supports that.
Over the next several days, we’ll explore 24 questions in-depth, taking a close look at the difference between age groups while also weighing key demographic differences such as political party, race and education. It’s also an opportunity to revisit the previous Rare Under 40 poll, which found young people hold surprising views on Obama, marijuana, God and more.
This Rare survey was conducted by Gravis Insights between April 27 and May 5. A total of 2,261 registered voters of all ages were interviewed about several issues using landlines, cellphones and Internet panels. Overall, the poll has a margin of error of ±2 percentage points and was weighted by select demographic characteristics.