Over 50 percent of Americans believe climate change needs to be addressed right now, according to a new poll. But seniors may not be among them.
A recent CBS survey found that 53 percent of Americans say climate change should be addressed immediately, with an additional 14 percent saying it should be addressed within the next few years. Overall, 67 percent — two-thirds of the country — believe the climate crisis needs to be confronted soon.
The outlet noted that while race and gender made very little difference among respondents, differing viewpoints remain across party lines and by generation. Among Democrats, 91 percent believe climate change should be addressed soon, compared to just 44 percent of Republicans. 64 percent of Independents agreed.
Younger people also see the climate crisis as a more pressing issue, with 74 percent of those ages 18-44 believing it should be addressed soon. 64 percent of ages 45-64 said the same, with just 56 percent of those 65 and older.
39 percent of ages 18-29 also said they feel they have "a lot" of responsibility to take care of the environment. They were unexpectedly surpassed by 45 percent of ages 30-44, marking a more fatalistic mindset among Gen Z, compared to a stronger sense of responsibility among Millennials.
38 percent of ages 45-64 felt this responsibility, compared to 27 percent of ages 65 and up, making it appear that the generations that oversaw the conditions leading to the current climate crisis feel the least amount of responsibility for reversing the damage.
Of those who didn't believe climate change needs to be addressed soon, 79 percent said they think "there are more pressing issues right now," such as the economy and inflation. 74 percent said they believe "the effect of climate change is exaggerated." A smaller majority said "there's nothing we can do about climate change," which was mostly said by those from older generations.
Those who did not believe climate change should be addressed soon did not see an economic benefit to combatting it — a belief incompatible with economic reality, and one not held by the majority of Americans. While 31 percent believe efforts to reduce climate change will harm the economy, 41 percent said it would help.