CivicScience is constantly tracking breaking climate news developments, available to read in our News & Insights section. For even deeper insights we won’t publish, get in touch.
After Tropical Storm Hilary made landfall in southern California, a magnitude 5.1 earthquake shook the northern part of the region already facing the storm. Although it was downgraded from hurricane status, Hilary still marked the state’s first tropical storm since 1939 – and has left a multitude of flooding in a section of the country less accustomed to it.
CivicScience is constantly tracking consumer feelings and anxieties about climate change – within the last week, that included coverage of the home insurance market amid catastrophic climate events and data highlighting that more than 4-in-5 U.S. adults have experienced some form of natural disaster. In light of the latest severe weather events on the West Coast and the devastating wildfires in Maui, CivicScience looked to its latest data on climate anxiety.
According to the newest data, 38% of U.S. adults report having at least some extent of climate or “eco-anxiety” (as defined by the American Psychological Association as “a chronic fear of environmental doom” and “worry or concern about climate change and its effects”). Gen Z adults are the most likely to definitively say they experience eco-anxiety (19%, with over half having it to at least some extent). Generally speaking, the youngest adults have the most eco-anxiety – but the 55+ age bracket bucks the trend and experiences it to a greater extent than the 35-54 age bracket, nearly rivaling young Millennial eco-anxiety.
Much like anxiety driven by other world happenings, climate stresses are driven at least in part by news consumption habits. Of the climate subjects polled, natural disasters and weather are the most likely to be followed ‘very closely’ by U.S. adults (34%), with climate change and the environment (23%) and air pollution (21%) coming up just behind.
Three more insights you need to know about eco-anxiety:
- Those who follow news about climate change and the environment ‘very closely’ are much more likely to have any extent of eco-anxiety (74%) than those who follow news about natural disasters and weather ‘very closely’ (55%).
- According to the latest data, 18% of U.S. adults ‘regularly’ think about their carbon footprint and impact on the environment, with 55% who think about it at least ‘occasionally.’
- Eco-anxiety is currently an extremely partisan phenomenon. Registered Democrats are overwhelmingly more likely to express any level of eco-anxiety than Republicans (64% compared to 20%). Eighty percent of Republicans don’t feel any eco-anxiety ‘at all’ – more than doubling Democrats – while Independents align closely with the Gen Pop numbers.
Curious to know how the future of climate anxiety might impact your company’s consumers? Book a meeting with CivicScience today to learn even more about how we can prepare you for the decades ahead.