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Polling claim: Young people worry most about ‘climate change’



Around nine in 10 millennials understand that the climate is changing, the highest proportion of any age group, while nearly eight in 10 think humankind must work to stem the rise in temperature. That includes a majority of Republicans. Most young Republicans recognize that humans are altering the climate and want the government to tackle the problem.

According to one poll, Republican millennials trust the Democratic Party more than the GOP when it comes climate change, which should alarm party leadership. It is notable that young Republicans are willing to break from conservative elites on this issue, and it speaks to the fact that climate change has more salience for young Americans than it does for their parents or grandparents.

“Millennials may be more likely to accept that climate change is occurring because they’re part of a generation hearing and learning about it in school. There have also been increasing extreme weather events happening around the country and globally in recent years — floods, droughts and hurricanes — that have been making headlines,” said Sheril Kirshenbaum, former director of the University of Texas Energy Poll. “And of course, we have more and more data from scientists themselves documenting what’s taking place. In polling, we cannot say what exactly influences changing public attitudes, but I suspect it’s a combination of many of these.”

Young Americans are deeply skeptical of the oil and gas industry, teenagers in particular, according to a recent survey. Around half of Americans aged 16 to 18 believe the oil and gas industry doesn’t want what’s best for them. Most say that wind and solar are the fuel of their generation, while oil and gas are the fuel of their parents’ generation, and coal is the fuel of their grandparents’ generation.

That survey also found that just one in four Americans aged 16 to 19 find careers in the oil and gas industry appealing. Few believe that jobs in the oil and gas sector will confer prestige, provide long-term financial stability, or allow workers to have a positive impact on the world — and this has executives worried.